Paraneoplastic Syndromes Involving the Nervous System
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
Paraneoplastic syndromes are defined as disorders of organ or tissue function caused by cancer that are not a direct result of tumor invasion. They can involve any portion of the nervous system, either a single area or cell type (e.g., Purkinje cells of the cerebellum) or more extensively (e.g., encephalomyelitis). The disorders are believed to be a result of an immune response to antigens shared by the cancer and the nervous system. Similar disorders occur at a lesser incidence in patients without cancer on an autoimmune basis. The identification of paraneoplastic antibodies in serum can establish the diagnosis of a paraneoplastic syndrome and often suggests the primary site of the cancer. Treatment usually requires both cancer therapy and immunosuppression. The prognosis for the cancer is typically better in those patients with paraneoplastic syndromes. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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