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ABSTRACT. When visiting the Achilleion on the Greek island of Corfu, one could see among the many statues representing the mythological hero Achilles, a particular one staging his death. It is a sculpture showing the mighty warrior being hit by an arrow in the only vulnerable part of his body, the heel. However, for the neurologist at least, this particular position of the hero’s foot, suggesting a positive Babinski sign, may lead to assumptions regarding the hero’s invulnerability. Such a perspective could make a clinician contemplate the evolution of neurology in the 20th century: from the original description of the extensor plantar reflex to the assessment of corticospinal tract dysfunctions by modern techniques, such as the transcranial magnetic stimulation.

Keywords: Achilles; Achilleion; neurological viewpoint; Babinski sign; transcranial magnetic stimulation

Cristian Dinu Popescu
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Grigore T. Popa University of Medicine
Dan Trofin
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The Rehabilitation Hospital, Iasi
Daniela-Marilena Trofin
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Grigore T. Popa University of Medicine

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