glabellar tap

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The glabellar tap is a primitive reflex where the eyes shut if an individual is tapped lightly between the eyebrows. This reflex may normally be overcome rapidly - i.e. the individual soon fails to blink, usually less than five taps.

In a patient with frontal release signs the reflex cannot be overcome, and they continue to blink for as long as the examiner cares to keep tapping. A similar response is seen with late parkinsonism.

Last reviewed 01/2018

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