- Category : 1857-births
- Type : GE
- Profile : 1/3 - Investigating / Martyr
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Contagion 4
French neurologist of Polish descent.
Babinski was the son of a Polish military officer and engineer Aleksander Babinski (1824–1889) and Henryeta Weren Babinska (1819–1897) who in the revolution year 1848 fled from Warsaw to Paris, after the Russians violently blocked Polish attempts at achieving independence.
Babinski studied at the University of Paris to become physician (1884). In 1890 he got a post at the famous Salpêtrière Hospital, which historically seen was he breeding place of modern neurology and psychiatry. He became the favourite student of professor Charcot (29 Nov 1825 - 16 Aug 1893), who can be seen as the founder of modern neurology.
Babinski was a great clinician who relied on his objective bedside observations on the patient. He recognised details that others easily overlooked. He became famous with his 26-line description of the source of the already by Vulpian and others described plantar reflex (1896) which he could relate to an injury of the pyramidal tract (Babinski's sign).
Babinski was one of the candidates of following up Charcot when he suddenly died in 1893. Nevertheless, Fulgence Raymond, a declared admirer of the bedside clinical skills of Babinski, became the head of the Paris University teaching Hospital as he had the best qualifying academic competition papers.
He went on as a neurologist at the Hôpital de la Pitiéa and took like Charcot and Freud an interest in the pathogenesis of the psychological phenomenon of hysteria that resembles neurological disease. The great observer Babinsky was the first to present acceptable differential-diagnostic criteria for distinguishing dysfunctional states of mind like hysteria from blunt organic brain diseases. He introduced the term pithiatism, a form of hysteria that can be cured by persuasive suggestion, as opposed to physical brain diseases that do not respond to suggestion as the brain architecture is changed.
Babinski became professor of neurology at the University of Paris. He wrote over 200 papers on nervous disorders.
Babinski lived with his younger brother and brilliant engineer Henri Babinski (2 July 1855, Paris - 20 August 1931), who under the pen-name "Ali Baba" wrote a classic cookbook (Gastronomie pratique, études culinaires, suivies du traitement de l’obésité des gourmands. Flammarion, Paris 1907).
In his last years he suffered from Parkinson's disease.
Babinski died 29 October 1932 in Paris.