Paraneoplastic Neurologic Syndromes – causes, side effects and treatments at NaturalPedia.com

Wednesday, July 04, 2018 by

Paraneoplastic neurologic syndromes (PNS) refer to conditions that impact the nervous system of patients who have cancer. The condition is not directly caused by cancer itself, rather, it is a disorder caused by immunological reactions produced from the tumors. As the body’s immune system fights off the tumor, this results in the body – in particular, the nervous system – being severely damaged by the responses. This can lead to severe complications, with some having a permanent effect.

Known risk factors of paraneoplastic neurologic syndromes

The etiology of PNS is unclear. However, based on findings from cerebrospinal fluid of antibodies, it suggests that PNS could be caused by immune responses that have been targeted against the nervous system.

For the most part, PNS is a rare condition. However, some disorders (such as paraneoplastic neuropathy) occur in 10 percent of people with cancer that affects the immune system. It affects both males and females and is more common in older patients, as they are more likely to have cancers linked to PNS. Some forms of PNS, like paraneoplastic anti-NMDAR encephalitis, are seen in younger patients.

Body systems affected by paraneoplastic neurologic syndromes

PNS causes a dysfunction of the peripheral nerves, which can result in weakness, loss of sensation, and reduced reflexes. Some complications include:

  • Subacute sensory neuropathy – disabling loss of sensation and incoordination
  • Guillain-Barré syndrome – a condition marked by a significant loss in muscle strength, common in people with Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Subacute cerebellar degeneration – an unsteady gait, lack of coordination, and dizziness, occurs in patients with breast cancer, ovarian cancer, small cell carcinoma of the lung, or other solid tumors.
  • Opsoclonus and myoclonus – uncontrollable eye movement and quick contraction of the limbs, respectively; it can happen to children with neuroblastoma.
  • Subacute motor neuronopathy – weakening of the arms and legs because of dysfunction in the spinal cord, occurs in some people with Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
  • Eaton-Lambert syndrome – muscle weakening due to an inability of the muscle to activate, a complication from small cell carcinoma of the lung.
  • Subacute necrotizing myelopathy – a rare condition where the loss of neurons in the spinal cord results in paralysis.

Food items or nutrients that may prevent or relieve paraneoplastic neurologic syndromes

The most efficient way to treat PNS is to address the type of cancer that causes it. Some food items to help boost a person’s overall health during treatment involves:

  • Adequate fluid intake
  • Fresh fruit – especially those that are easy to eat and have a high water content. Some of these include melons, berries, pineapple, bananas, and pears
  • Yogurt – promotes healthy digestion
  • Natural oats – excellent for those who have trouble digesting
  • Whole grains – promotes good digestive health
  • Poultry – Look for those without nitrates and are not processed.
  • Cooked eggs – Raw eggs are unsafe, especially for people with cancer.

Treatment and management options for paraneoplastic neurologic syndromes

Healthcare professionals treat different types of PNS based on the affected area and its severity. For the most part, PNS does not improve with immunomodulatory treatment, and the offending tumor must be addressed to prevent further and permanent damage.

Where to learn more

Summary

Paraneoplastic neurologic syndromes (PNS) are conditions that impact the nervous system of patients who have cancer.

PNS is a disorder caused by immunological reactions produced from cancer.

PNS is a rare condition.

PNS is more common in older patients, as they are more likely to have cancers linked to the condition.

PNS causes a dysfunction of the peripheral nerves, as well as other complications.

The most efficient way to treat PNS is to address the type of cancer that causes it.

Sources include:

RareDiseases.org

MerckManuals.com

Health.ClevelandClinic.org

ORJD.BioMedCentral.com



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