Old 02-27-2009, 08:59 AM #1 (permalink)
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Default Babinski Sign always significant?

Hello out there, I'm a little worried because I read on a neurologist's old report that I have the Babinski Sign. From looking online, it sounds like a definite symptom, but you never know. It seems the people here sometimes know more. Anyone have any advice?
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Old 02-27-2009, 09:28 AM #2 (permalink)
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positive babinski sign is indicative of something abnormal in the upper motor neurons.

i'm just a little confused as to what you've "got it" really means... i think you should ask him whether it is positive or negative, and then have him explain to you what that might means.
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Old 02-27-2009, 11:32 AM #3 (permalink)
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can negative babinski, negative hoffman and normal reflexes more or less rule out ALS?
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Old 02-27-2009, 12:42 PM #4 (permalink)
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tigger,

It more or less rules it out.
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Old 02-27-2009, 03:12 PM #5 (permalink)
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I agree with what has already been stated; normal reflexes (which include the plantar that the Babinski check is done for) would indicate no upper motor neuron damage. In ALS, you have to have both upper and lower motor neuron damage.
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Old 02-27-2009, 03:34 PM #6 (permalink)
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I just wanted to add that a positive Babinski, although cause for concern, doesn't automatically mean ALS either.

Robert
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Old 02-27-2009, 03:59 PM #7 (permalink)
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So an update:

after waiting almost 4 hours at the clinic, I saw a doctor.

She noticed the loss of muscle on my one arm, at the forearm/elbow. noticed a weaker hand than other when gripping...
My arm reflexes were fine, though.

Then on to my legs - - I had them measured about a month ago, they were both at 16.5 - now they're both at 16... maybe the other doc didn't measure properly or what? can both be losing muscle like this?
and my one leg reflex was normal, but the other was off - it was just not there, and she didn't even get a reflex 'til after the 3rd time.

Babinski was negative, she said my toe curled in as opposed to up - but she left my socks on - I doubt it makes a difference.

so negative Babinski w/ muscle loss (on arm, and both legs... they were half a cm larger last time) and a dull reflex on left leg? weird...

she said not to lose sleep over it (ya easy for her to say), but it's definitely a good idea that I'm seeing a Neuro.
I'm just as scared as I was before, if not more now.

Can anyone chime in?

is this more good than bad?
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Old 02-27-2009, 04:00 PM #8 (permalink)
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I second that. I had a Hoffman's sign (related to Babinski's) and had an emg indicative of a myopathy and a muscle biopsy that was completely normal.

No als here.
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Old 02-27-2009, 09:51 PM #9 (permalink)
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Yeah, I'm glad to hear a positive Babinski doesn't necessarily mean ALS (thanks, planningguy), though I'm still worried. I've had 2 MRIs of my lower spine in the past 2 weeks, the results of which I haven't discussed yet with my own doctor. I also had one of my brain over 3 years ago, and only now found out that I have "white spots" in my brain. (After watching my father die of a motor neuron disease last October, I decided to talk to the neurologist who interpreted it back then.) No one had bothered to tell me, they'd just said it was "normal"!
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Old 02-27-2009, 11:47 PM #10 (permalink)
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MS would screw up a plantar reflex as well as MND. There are probably a host of things that interfere with reflexes and cause toes to curl up rather than down when the heel of the foot is stroked. A sister of mine has MS and she has a flexor plantar response.

When the first neuro saw me, she noted that 4 toes went downward but the big toe had upward movement but this was only one my right foot. I think the left was normal. I didn't ask this latest neuro his findings but he's the guy saying I've got PLS.

Anyway, there are many things that can give you screwy reflexes aside from ALS/MND.

Oh, yeah, I don't know why a doc would check with the socks on. Seems a little odd but then, I don't have the training they do. Maybe, to some, it makes no difference if you're socked or unsocked. They can still see what they're looking for.

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Old 02-28-2009, 05:11 AM #11 (permalink)
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Lower motor neuron involvement can result in atrophy and hyporeflexes (subdued reflexes). People diagnosed with PMA (progressive muscular atrophy) have lower motor neuron involvement and no upper motor neuron signs (at the time of diagnosis).

One of the hallmarks of ALS is hyper (exaggerated) reflex in a wasted/atrophied limb, indicating both upper and lower motor neuron involvement. Following through by seeing a neurologist should give a clearer picture.
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Old 07-14-2010, 11:59 AM #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Babinski Sign always significant?

Hi, my husband has now lost over 14 pounds in weight in the past 6 months has a positive babinski and has fasciculations in his head arms legs etc, twitches and jumps all night in his sleep, the neurologist saw him in march and said that he could not find anything wrong with him as his cognitive score was 29 out of 30. my husband lied about his aches and spasms told the doctor he was fit and well and it was all my doing why he was there. after 4 months off work they have now allowed him back to work! He has had a dramatic personality change is agitated and tired all the time, he constantly drops things bangs cups etc and is always breaking something , he goes to the shop and forgets what he has gone for, he slurs looks drunk after 1 drink and cannot remember names of objects he even forgot his childrens birth dates, he blames me for everything saying i want him to be ill, because i have lupus, my Gp has listened to me and has now refered him back to the neurologist saying its possible he has some kind of progressive motor neuron disease. they diagnoised him with COPD but all other tests are normal, what can i do now he gets worse everyday but the twitches are subtle,I have feared right from the onset it was a possible ALS, what other diseases can cause these symptoms? and what can i do to convince him its not me, its his body that does all these things he is so in denial and thinks he is fighting fit , family and friends are also concerned because of his behavior and loss of skill playing snooker etc, please help do not know what to do1! thanks princessbeverley
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Old 07-14-2010, 01:40 PM #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Babinski Sign always significant?

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is simply put, causing your husband to get less air than is required to meet the moment by moment demands of life to sustain NORMAL overall body functioning.Maslows Hierarchy of Needs rates breathing number one(physiological) in maintaining homeostasis. Your husband probably needs oxygen if in fact he has this condition.It would explain most of his actions you have described.

I am sorry to hear you have been in despair so long about this.Do you have the means to see a pulmonary specialist if it is certain he has COPD? Do you have public general hospitals in your area you can go to?O.K., I see you live in the UK. The medical system
there is very different from where I live.

If in fact, he does have COPD, there are many things available here(US) to improve his quality of life. I hope they are made available to you in the UK, that is, if he does have a medical diagnosis of COPD.
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Old 07-14-2010, 06:16 PM #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Babinski Sign always significant?

just thought i"d mention there ain"t no such thing as a positive babinski or a negative......in a healthy personthe sign would"nt be there, so you would not get the sign so it could not be negative....some one tested and had the sign would simply have the babinsky sign...so positive would'"nt come into it....hope that makes sense..reading this back dont make sense............er..you either have the sign or you dont..ok?.......johnnybabinsky...
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Old 07-14-2010, 06:23 PM #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Babinski Sign always significant?

Exactly, John,

A Babinsky is a Babinsky. You have it or you don't.

ND
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