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Nihon Rinsho. 1994 Nov;52(11):3000-5.

[Paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration].

[Article in Japanese]

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Department of Neurology, Niigata University.


Paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration (PCD) is a rare manifestation of cancer, characterized clinically by subacute progressive ataxia, dysarthria and nystagmus. The pathological hallmark of PCD is a severe, diffuse loss of Purkinje cells. PCD occurs most frequently in association with small cell carcinoma of the lung and adenocarcinoma of the ovary, but it has also developed in patients with carcinoma of the breast, malignant lymphoma, and various cancers. Autoantibodies against cerebellar Purkinje cells have been frequently observed in the serum or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from patients with PCD. The cause of PCD is unknown, but the presence of these autoantibodies in some patients suggests that the pathogenesis may be immune mediated. The potential role of the autoantibody in the pathogenesis of PCD is discussed.

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