Objective: This case study describes the neuropsychological consequences of Paraneoplastic Neurological Disorder (PND). PND, a subtype of paraneoplastic syndromes (PNS), has been recognized as a condition in patients with systemic cancer that is not related directly to metastatic disease or treatment toxicity. Symptoms of PND may include ataxia, dizziness, vision problems, difficulty swallowing, loss of muscle tone and fine motor control, slurred speech, memory loss, dementia, seizures, and sensory loss in limbs. Method: The patient is a 61 year-old, Caucasian, right-handed male who was referred by his neurologist due to significant memory changes, sensory-perceptual changes, gait difficulties, and slowed processing. The patient denied psychological changes. He completed comprehensive neuropsychological examination in an outpatient private practice. Common psychometric measures were administered, including intellectual, achievement, memory, and performance validity, and the complete Halstead Reitan Battery. Results: Pattern of findings was consistent with deficits in executive functioning (problem-solving, multitasking, planning, etc.), attention/concentration, processing speed, memory for both verbal and visual information, ataxia, and visual-spatial abilities. Further, there were severe impairments in sensory and motor functioning. Language abilities were relatively spared. Conclusion: PND is a complex neurological disorder that mimics many diagnoses, including but not limited to Parkinson's, dementias, seizures, etc. Differential diagnosis is therefore complicated. Further awareness of PND as a potential consequence of cancer is important for correct diagnosis and treatment, as the neurological symptoms may cause significant morbidity. Lastly, neurological symptoms can present prior to the identification of the systemic cancer and therefore aid in early detection and treatment.
Paraneoplastic Neurological Disorder: A Neuropsychological Case Study
Arch Clin Neuropsychol (2015) 30 (6): 489.
25 August 2015
S Greco, C Shaheen, L Klimik, R Hanbury; A-09
Paraneoplastic Neurological Disorder: A Neuropsychological Case Study. Arch Clin Neuropsychol 2015; 30 (6): 489. doi: 10.1093/arclin/acv047.09
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