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Paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration
Classification and external resources
ICD-10 G130
ICD-9 334.9
DiseasesDB 33977
eMedicine neuro/299
MeSH D020362

Paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration (PCD) is a paraneoplastic syndrome associated with lung, ovarian, breast, Hodgkin’s lymphoma[1] and other cancers. PCD is a rare condition that occurs in less than 1% of cancer patients[1][2][3] and usually occurs in middle-aged women.

As is the case with other paraneoplastic syndromes,[4] PCD is believed to be due to an autoimmune reaction targeted against components of the central nervous system (in PCD, this is specifically Purkinje cells[5] in the cerebellum,[6] sometimes accompanied by a proliferation of Berg- mann astrocytes and microglia in the molecular layer of the cerebellum and a loss of granule cells[6][7] ). It is thought to be triggered when tumor cells (in PCD, most commonly ovarian or breast cancer[8][9]) express a protein normally expressed in the brain (in PCD, this is the Purkinje neuronal protein termed cdr2). This is believed to trigger an anti-tumor immune response that may be clinically significant, but also an anti-neuronal immune response.[10] PCD patients harbor an anti-neuronal antibody known as anti-Yo (named after the first two letters of the index patient). PCD may be associated with onconeural antibodies directed against other intracellular antigens or against cell surface[3] and with other tumors. When associated with small cell lung cancer, it is antibody termed "anti-Hu" (more commonly associated with paraneoplastic subacute sensory neuropathy and/or limbic encephalitis). The immune cells cross the blood–brain barrier, resulting in an autoimmune attack of Purkinje cells throughout the cerebellar cortex.[2] Radiologic imaging occasionally reveals cerebellar atrophy. Other paraneoplastic antibodies may be associated with PCD symptoms, including anti-Tr and antibodies to glutamate receptor. Occasionally myoclonia and opsoclonus may occur.[6]

Neurological symptoms present insidiously and progress rapidly for about 6 months to a severely disabled state followed by a variable plateau period that can last for months to years.[1][2][6] The clinical cerebellar ataxia evident in patients with PCD are caused by Purkinje neuronal loss in the cerebellum. It is manifested by dysarthria, truncal, limb and gait ataxia, vertigo, nausea, vomiting, diplopia[1][6] and nystagmus. Neurological symptoms precede the diagnosis of the underlying cancer in about 60% of cases.[3][11] A cure of the cancer underlying PCD usually does not affect neurological symptoms, as cerebellar dysfunction stabilizes in the early stage after symptom onset before the cancer treatment has been initiated.[12] There may be a role for high dose gammaglobulin therapy in the treatment PCD, but due to the rare occurrence of this disease, controlled trials of this therapy may be difficult.[6]

Pathophysiology[edit | edit source]

The anti-Purkinje cell antibodies originally described in PCD led to the hypothesis that the antibody might be pathogenic, much as earlier studies had demonstrated pathogenicity of anti-acetylcholine receptor antibodies in myasthenia gravis. However, when the antibody was used to clone the cDNA encoding the cdr2 antigen, it was found to be an intracellular protein. This led to the suggestion[13] that there might be a cell-mediated component (T cell) in disease pathogenesis. cdr2 antigen-specific CD8+ T cells were subsequently described[14] in all PCD patients,[15] making them a hallmark of the disease, and likely components in both the anti-tumor immune response and in the neuronal degeneration.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 O'Brien, Terrence J., Pasaliaris, Bill; D'Apince, Anthony; Byrne, Edward (1995). Anti-Yo positive paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration: a report of three cases and review of the literature. Journal of Clinical Neuroscience 2 (4): 316–320.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Rana, Abdul, Oayyu, Ranna, A.N.; Adul, Ashfique (2012). Acute ataxia due to anti-Yo antibody paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration 4 months prior to diagnosis of uterine carcinoma. Acta Neurologica Belgica.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Finsterer, Josef, Voigtlander, Till; Grisold, Wolfgang (2011). Deterioration of anti-Yo-associated paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration. Journal of the Neurological Sciences 308: 139–141.
  4. Paraneoplastic Syndromes, 2011, Darnell & Posner
  5. Jaeckle,K.A., Graus,F., Houghton,A., Cardon-Cardo,C., Nielsen,S.L., Posner,J.B. (1985), "Autoimmune response of patients with paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration to a Purkinje cell cytoplasmic protein antigen", Annals of Neurology 18 (5): 592–600, PMID 2416270 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 Phuphanich, Surasak, Brock; Charles (2007). Neurologic improvement after high-dose intravenous immunoglobulin therapy in patients with paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration associated with anti-Purkinje cell antibody. Journal of Neuro-oncology 81: 67–69.
  7. Anderson, NE, Rosenblum, MK; Posner, JB (1988). Paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration: clinical-immunological correlations. Annals of Neurology 24 (5): 559–567.
  8. Peterson,K., Rosenblum, J.K., Kotanides,H., Posner,J.B. (1992), "Paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration. I. A clinical analysis of 55 anti-Yo antibody-positive patients", Neurology 42 (10): 1931–1937, PMID 1407575 
  9. Sillevis Smith et al, Chapter 97
  10. Roberts,W.K., Darnell,R.B. (2004), "Neuroimmunology of the paraneoplastic neurological degenerations", Current Opinions in Immunology 16 (5): 616–622, doi:10.1016/j.coi.2004.07.009, PMID 15342008 
  11. Frings, Markus, Antoch, Gerald; Knorn, Phillipp; Freudenberg, Lutz; Bier, Ulrich; Timmann, Dagar, Timmann; Maschke, Matthias (2005). Strategies in detection of the primary tumour in anti-Yo associated paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration. Journal of Neurology 252: 197–201.
  12. Takeda, Akihrio, Manabe, Shuichi; Mitsui, Takashi; Nakamura, Hiromi (2007). Laparoscopic management of fallopian tube carcinoma with paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration. Gyneological Surgery 4: 131–134.
  13. Darnell,R.B. (1996), "Onconeural antigens and the paraneoplastic neurologic disorders: at the intersection of cancer, immunity, and the brain", Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 93 (10): 4529–4536, PMID 8643438 
  14. Albert,M.L., Austin,L.M., Darnell,R.B. (2000), "Detection and treatment of activated T cells in the cerebrospinal fluid of patients with paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration", Ann Neurol 47 (1): 9–17, PMID 10632096 
  15. Darnell,R.B., Albert,M.L. (2000), "cdr2-specific CTLs are detected in the blood of all patients with paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration analyzed", Ann Neurol 48 (2): 270–271, PMID 10939585 

External links[edit | edit source]

Template:Paraneoplastic syndromes

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