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Pediatrics. 1976 Jan;57(1):13-5.

The significance of the Babinski sign in the newborn-a reappraisal.


A study of the clinical significance and the stimulus methods used to elicit the Babinski sign in normal newborns has been carried out. Although the most frequent response to cutaneous nociceptive stimulation of the lateral sole in neonates was extension of the great toe, a small but significant number of flexor responses were obtained. Consequently, the Babinski sign has limited clinical usefulness as a reflex indicating the presence or absence of neurological disease in the newborn. In reviewing previous studies in the literature, it was apparent that the widely differing percentages of extensor plantars reported in newborns was related directly to differences in the technique of examination.

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