Mar 21, 2020

Paraneoplastic Diseases of the Central Nervous System

Jonathan Galli, John Greenlee


Paraneoplastic neurological syndromes are nonmetastatic complications of malignancy secondary to immune-mediated neuronal dysfunction or death. Pathogenesis may occur from cell surface binding of antineuronal antibodies leading to dysfunction of the target protein, or from antibodies binding against intracellular antigens which ultimately leads to cell death. There are several classical neurological paraneoplastic phenotypes including subacute cerebellar degeneration, limbic encephalitis, encephalomyelitis, and dorsal sensory neuropathy. The patient's clinical presentations may be suggestive to the treating clinician as to the specific underlying paraneoplastic antibody. Specific antibodies often correlate with the specific underlying tumor type, and malignancy screening is essential in all patients with paraneoplastic neurological disease. Prompt initiation of immunotherapy is essential in the treatment of patients with paraneoplastic neurological disease, often more effective in cell surface antibodies in comparison to intracellular antibodies, as is removal of the underlying tumor.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Immune System Diseases
Neoplastic Cell
Paraneoplastic Syndromes
Cell Death
Cerebellar Degeneration, Subacute

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