Print A neurological disorder is a disorder that involves the nervous system, by definition.
The term "paraneoplastic" means that the neurological syndrome is not caused by the tumor itself, but by the immunological reactions that the tumor produces.
When this occurs, the immunological system mounts an immune response, utilizing antibodies and lymphocytes to fight the tumor. In many patients, the immune response can cause nervous system damage that far Neurologic diseases the damage done to the tumor. The effects of PNS can remit entirely, although there can also be permanent effects.
It is the presence of specific paraneoplastic antibodies that often leads to the diagnosis of a paraneoplastic neurologic syndrome.
Symptoms of PNS can develop rapidly, over the course of a few days or weeks, or they may develop slowly. Often, they seem to follow what may appear to have been a transient viral illness. In addition, some cancer treatments can also cause neurological symptoms that can be mistaken for PNS.
PNS can frequently appear to affect only a single area of the nervous system. In Neurologic diseases cases of PNS, only one area of the nervous system is involved initially, but over time, other areas can become affected.
Therefore, careful and repeated neurologic examinations are required to follow and monitor the disease process.
In the majority of patients with PNS, the tumor is localized to one site without having metastasized spread to distant parts of the body. Usually, the size of the tumor at this stage is small.
For this reason, it can be very difficult to find the tumor. The specific antibodies, if detected, can help focus the search for the tumor to one or a few organs. Broadly speaking, paraneoplastic neurologic syndromes PNS are categorized by 1 the area of the nervous system that is principally affected; 2 the type of symptoms manifested; or 3 the type of immunological response.
Paraneoplastic Limbic Encephalitis This disorder results from an inflammation of the brain and, in particular, the limbic system, which includes the hippocampus, amygdala, hypothalamus, and several other related areas.
This part of the brain is involved in memory, emotion and behavior, and controls reactions of fear and anger. It can also involve the emotions of sexual behavior.
These functions can each be adversely affected in the setting of any type of encephalitis.
A variety of symptoms can result from paraneoplastic limbic encephalitis, such as mood changes, problems sleeping, and severe, short-term memory deficits. In addition, many patients with limbic encephalitis develop seizures or seizure-like spells, or sometimes grand mal seizures resulting in a total loss of consciousness.
The combination of clinical symptoms, analysis of blood and spinal fluid, and brain MRI and EEG findings can suggest the diagnosis of limbic encephalitis.
The cancers more often associated with paraneoplastic limbic encephalitis are cancers of the lung and testis and tumors of the thymus thymoma although other cancers can also be involved.
Symptoms identical to paraneoplastic limbic encephalitis may occur without cancer; these patients often have antibodies to LGI1 previously known as voltage-gated potassium channel antibodies or VGKC.
Paraneoplastic Cerebellar Degeneration Patients with this form of PNS develop severe problems in fine motor coordination of the arms, legs, and the muscles that control the eyes, speech and swallowing. In general, all movements will become fragmented and a tremor shaking of the hands may develop.
Ordinary activities such as reading or watching TV can become difficult or impossible, and simple chores like writing, feeding oneself or dressing can also become impossible to perform.
However, several months after the presentation of neurological symptoms, the brain MRI will usually show atrophy shrinkage of the cerebellum. Several different paraneoplastic antibodies have been associated with paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration, including among others Yo, Tr, or mGluR1 antibodies.
Paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration is one of the most difficult of the PNS to treat. Although there may be some mild improvement after treatment of the primary tumor, the majority of patients do not improve. Treatment may result in stabilization of symptoms.Wednesday, September 5, Scientists stunted the puberty of male worms by starving them before they underwent sexual maturation.
In a study funded by the National Institutes of Health, the scientists suggested that stress from starvation even days before sexual maturation prevented normal changes in the wiring patterns of key neuronal .
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Colorado Neurological Institute is a non-profit organization that provides research, education and patient services for persons with neurological conditions.