Paraneoplastic Neurologic Disorders
Other Names for this Disease
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antibodies or white blood cells known as T cells mistakenly attack normal cells in the nervous system. Paraneoplastic neurologic disorders typically develop after mid-adulthood and are most common in people with lung, ovarian, lymphatic, or breast cancer. Symptoms generally develop over a period of days to weeks and usually occur prior to tumor detection. These symptoms may include difficulty in walking and/or swallowing, loss of muscle tone, loss of fine motor coordination, slurred speech, memory loss, vision problems, sleep disturbances, dementia, seizures, sensory loss in the limbs, and vertigo. Paraneoplastic neurologic disorders include Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome, stiff-person syndrome, encephalomyelitis (inflammation of the brain and spinal cord), myasthenia gravis, cerebellar degeneration, limbic and/or brainstem encephalitis, neuromyotonia, and opsoclonus (involving eye movement) and sensory neuropathy. Treatment involves treatment of the underlying tumor, immunotherapy, and supportive therapy.Paraneoplastic neurologic disorders are a group of rare degenerative conditions that are triggered by a person's immune system response to a cancerous tumor. Researchers believe these disorders occur when cancer-fighting
Last updated: 6/9/2016
- NINDS Paraneoplastic Syndromes Information Page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Website. March 12, 2009; http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/paraneoplastic/paraneoplastic.htm. Accessed 6/9/2016.
- Josep Dalmau, Myrna R Rosenfeld. Overview of paraneoplastic syndromes of the nervous system. UpToDate. October 5, 2015; http://www.uptodate.com/contents/overview-of-paraneoplastic-syndromes-of-the-nervous-system.
- Sudheeran Kannoth. Paraneoplastic neurologic syndrome: A practical approach. Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology. Jan-Mar 2012; 15(1):6-12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3299076/.
- The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) collects and disseminates research information related to neurological disorders. Click on the link to view information on this topic.
- The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) has a report for patients and families about this condition. NORD is a patient advocacy organization for individuals with rare diseases and the organizations that serve them.
- Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.