Impack of organic semiology on development of neurology in the work of Joseph Jules Felix Babinski (1857-1932)
Joseph Jules François Félix Babiński was a son of emigrants from Poland. He was born in Paris where he also went to school and studied medicine. He graduated with honours in 1879. He made his training as an apprentice of Cornil, Vulpian and Buequoy. When he was assistant to Jean-Martin Charcot, he chose his specialization in internal medicine and neurology, soon achieving mastery in these subjects. In 1890 he was appointed head of the Pitié Hospital and worked there till the end of his life. He wrote over 300 papers on physiology of the nervous system and neuropathology. Babiński is the author of organic semiology of hemiplegia and paraplegia, which helps to differentiate them from functional and hysterical paralysis. He discovered most of the pyramidal symptoms. In his studies on defense refl ex he defi ned its relationship with injuries to the pyramidal tract, named the “Babiński Sign”, a test known also as Babiński refl ex, introduced to neurology and widely used to assess upper motor neuron disease. Symptomatology of cerebellar diseases helped to differentiate cerebellar disorders from atrial disorders, enabling to determine such symptoms as: hypermetria, asynergy, adiadochokinesis, tremor, catalepsy. Babiński is to be remembered as a pioneer of neurosurgery in France. He was an extremely modest person of great intuition and of analytical and synthetic mind. He was an extraordinary researcher and clinician. He died on 29.10.1932 and was buried in Montmorency cemetery near Paris.