- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Hoffmann's reflex (Johann Hoffmann)

Related people

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.


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

What is an eponym?

An eponym is a word derived from the name of a person, whether real or fictional. A medical eponym is thus any word related to medicine, whose name is derived from a person.

What is Whonamedit?

Whonamedit.com is a biographical dictionary of medical eponyms. It is our ambition to present a complete survey of all medical phenomena named for a person, with a biography of that person.


Whonamedit? does not give medical advice.
This survey of medical eponyms and the persons behind them is meant as a general interest site only. No information found here must under any circumstances be used for medical purposes, diagnostically, therapeutically or otherwise. If you, or anybody close to you, is affected, or believe to be affected, by any condition mentioned here: see a doctor.