Paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration (PCD) treatment

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How it works

Consult with our health coaches who will learn about your symptoms, habits, and goals.


Take personalized home health tests to discover potential root causes of any symptoms or conditions you may have.


Review your results in just days with our functional medicine doctors, nurses, and dietitians who will help you achieve optimal health.

Learn about Paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration (PCD)

Paraneoplastic Cerebellar Degeneration (PCD) is a rare, complex disorder often associated with an immune response to a cancerous tumor elsewhere in the body, most commonly breast, ovarian, or lung cancer. This autoimmune reaction specifically affects the cerebellum, the part of the brain responsible for coordination and balance, leading to severe neurological symptoms. PCD's prevalence is low, but it is a debilitating condition that can significantly impact the quality of life.


The exact cause of PCD is believed to be related to the body's immune response to certain cancers. The immune system, in attempting to fight off cancer, mistakenly targets the cerebellum, causing inflammation and damage to its cells. This is why PCD is categorized under paraneoplastic syndromes - a group of disorders that arise from the body's response to a tumor rather than the physical presence of the tumor itself.


Signs and symptoms

The symptoms of PCD can progress rapidly and may include: - Difficulty walking or maintaining balance - Slurred speech - Dizziness or vertigo - Nausea and vomiting - Vision problems, such as blurred or double vision - Trouble swallowing

Diagnosing Paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration (PCD)

Diagnosing PCD involves a combination of clinical evaluation, imaging tests, and laboratory investigations. MRI scans are used to observe changes in the cerebellum, while blood tests and cerebrospinal fluid analysis can detect the presence of onconeural antibodies associated with cancer and PCD. Further, cancer screening is essential since PCD is often a marker of an underlying malignancy. Early diagnosis is crucial in managing symptoms and improving outcomes.


Prevention and natural treatment

While preventing PCD directly is challenging due to its strong association with cancer, focusing on reducing cancer risk can be somewhat beneficial. This includes maintaining a healthy lifestyle, regular check-ups, and cancer screenings as recommended for your age and risk category. For treatment, conventional strategies involve treating the underlying cancer and managing PCD symptoms. However, from a functional medicine perspective, the focus is also on strengthening the immune system and reducing inflammation through natural means. Dietary changes to include anti-inflammatory foods such as leafy greens, fatty fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants found in berries and nuts can be supportive. Supplements like vitamin D, CoQ10, and omega-3 fatty acids may also help manage inflammation. Further, practices such as yoga, acupuncture, and meditation could contribute to overall well-being and symptom management. Importantly, any alternative or complementary therapy should be discussed with and monitored by healthcare professionals to ensure safety and compatibility with existing treatments. Collaboration between oncology, neurology, and functional medicine practitioners offers the best approach to care for individuals with PCD, aiming at both extending life and enhancing its quality despite this challenging condition.

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