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Disease Profile

Paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration

Prevalence estimates on Rare Medical Network websites are calculated based on data available from numerous sources, including US and European government statistics, the NIH, Orphanet, and published epidemiologic studies. Rare disease population data is recognized to be highly variable, and based on a wide variety of source data and methodologies, so the prevalence data on this site should be assumed to be estimated and cannot be considered to be absolutely correct.


US Estimated

Europe Estimated

Age of onset

All ages





Autosomal dominant A pathogenic variant in only one gene copy in each cell is sufficient to cause an autosomal dominant disease.


Autosomal recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of each gene of the chromosome are needed to cause an autosomal recessive disease and observe the mutant phenotype.


dominant X-linked dominant inheritance, sometimes referred to as X-linked dominance, is a mode of genetic inheritance by which a dominant gene is carried on the X chromosome.


recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of a gene on the X chromosome cause an X-linked recessive disorder.


Mitochondrial or multigenic Mitochondrial genetic disorders can be caused by changes (mutations) in either the mitochondrial DNA or nuclear DNA that lead to dysfunction of the mitochondria and inadequate production of energy.


Multigenic or multifactor Inheritance involving many factors, of which at least one is genetic but none is of overwhelming importance, as in the causation of a disease by multiple genetic and environmental factors.


Not applicable



Rare Cancers


Paraneoplastic syndromes are a group of rare disorders that include paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration (PCD). Paraneoplastic syndromes are thought to result from an abnormal immune response to an underlying (and often undetected) malignant tumor. PCD is a rare, non-metastatic complication of cancer. PCD is typically thought to be caused by antibodies generated against tumor cells. Instead of just attacking the cancer cells, the cancer-fighting antibodies also attack normal cells in the cerebellum.[1][2] PCD occurs most often in individuals with the following cancers: ovarian cancer, cancer of the uterus, breast cancer, small-cell lung cancer, and Hodgkin lymphoma. Symptoms of PCD may include dizziness, loss of coordination, blurred vision, nystagmus, ataxia, and speech difficulties.[1]


Support and advocacy groups can help you connect with other patients and families, and they can provide valuable services. Many develop patient-centered information and are the driving force behind research for better treatments and possible cures. They can direct you to research, resources, and services. Many organizations also have experts who serve as medical advisors or provide lists of doctors/clinics. Visit the group’s website or contact them to learn about the services they offer. Inclusion on this list is not an endorsement by GARD.

Organizations Supporting this Disease

    Social Networking Websites

    • The International Autoimmune Encephalitis Society Facebook group offers educational support through this forum.
    • RareConnect has an online community for Paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration. RareConnect is a platform where rare disease patients, families and patient organizations can develop online communities and conversations across continents and languages. RareConnect partners with the world's leading rare disease patient groups to offer global online communities allowing people to connect around issues which affect them while living with a rare disease.

      Organizations Providing General Support

        Learn more

        These resources provide more information about this condition or associated symptoms. The in-depth resources contain medical and scientific language that may be hard to understand. You may want to review these resources with a medical professional.

        In-Depth Information

        • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
        • The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
        • The Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is a catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 
        • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.


          1. Mehdi, Abbas. Paraneoplastic Cerebellar Degeneration. Medscape. Nov. 4, 2014; https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1156965-overview.
          2. Paraneoplastic syndromes of the nervous system. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. April 30, 2014; https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/paraneoplastic-syndromes/basics/definition/con-20028459.