Hoffmann's reflex (Johann Hoffmann)

Alternative eponyms

Related people

Finger reflex for hyper-reflexia.

Description

Finger reflex for hyper-reflexia. Flicking or nipping the nail of either the second, third or fourth finger will, if the reflex is present, cause a flexion of these fingers and maybe the thumb. Its presence indicates tendon reflexes are hyperactive. Occurs with any cause of hyper-reflexia including upper motor neurone lesions.

The sign is associated with Werdnig-Hoffmann syndrome. Although Hoffmann discussed this reflex in his teaching and used it in clinical practice, he never mentioned it in his publications. This reflex was eventually documented in the literature by his pupil, Hans Curschmann (1875-1950), and became known as Hoffmann's sign of reflex.

Bibliography

  • H. Curschmann:
    Über die diagnostische Bedeutung des Babinskischen Phänomen im präurämischen Zustand.
    Münchener medizinische Wochenschrift, 1911, 58: 2054.

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