September 21, 2015: The other Babinski sign

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September 21, 2015

The other Babinski sign

In 1905 Joseph Babinksi described a particular exam feature of hemifacial spasm, the so-called “other Babinski sign.” In hemifacial spasm, muscles innervated by the seventh cranial nerve contract irregularly. The “other Babinski sign” consists of eyebrow rising during eye closure, or co-contraction of the orbicularis oculi and frontalis muscles. If present, the “other Babinski sign” or “brow-lift sign” is a reliable tool with a 100% positive predictive value for differentiating hemifacial spasm from both blepharospasm and non-physiologic movement disorders.


  1. Devoize JL. “The other” Babinski’s sign: paradoxical raising of the eyebrow in hemifacial spasm. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2001; 70: 516.
  2. Stamey W, Jankovic J. The other Babinski sign in hemifacial spasm. Neurology 2007; 69: 402-404.

Submitted by Marian L. Dale MD, Movement Disorders Fellow, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon.

Disclosures: Dr. Dale received research support from the Oregon Medical Research Foundation and has received educational conference travel support from Medtronic, Abbvie, and the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.

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