Speech and Language Findings Associated With Paraneoplastic Cerebellar Degeneration Paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration (PCD) is an autoimmune disease that can be associated with cancer of the breast, lung, and ovary. The clinical presentation of PCD commonly includes ataxia, visual disturbances, and dysarthria. The speech disturbances associated with PCD have not been well characterized, despite general acceptance that dysarthria is often ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 2005
Speech and Language Findings Associated With Paraneoplastic Cerebellar Degeneration
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Teresa Paslawski
    University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
  • Joseph R. Duffy
    Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
  • Steven Vernino
    University of Texas Southwestern, Dallas
  • Contact author: Teresa Paslawski, Department of Educational Psychology and Special Education, University of Saskatchewan, 28 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S71 0X1, Canada. E-mail: teresa.paslawski@usask.ca
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Dysarthria / Swallowing, Dysphagia & Feeding Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 2005
Speech and Language Findings Associated With Paraneoplastic Cerebellar Degeneration
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, August 2005, Vol. 14, 200-207. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2005/020)
History: Received September 7, 2004 , Accepted May 16, 2005
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, August 2005, Vol. 14, 200-207. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2005/020)
History: Received September 7, 2004; Accepted May 16, 2005

Paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration (PCD) is an autoimmune disease that can be associated with cancer of the breast, lung, and ovary. The clinical presentation of PCD commonly includes ataxia, visual disturbances, and dysarthria. The speech disturbances associated with PCD have not been well characterized, despite general acceptance that dysarthria is often part of the initial presentation. A retrospective study was conducted of the speech, language, and swallowing concerns of patients with PCD evaluated at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, between 1990 and 2001. Prospective speech and language assessments were then conducted with 5 patients who had PCD. While ataxic dysarthria was the most common speech diagnosis, a spastic component was recognized frequently enough to suggest that the subacute (days to weeks) emergence and progression of an ataxic or mixed ataxic-spastic dysarthria in the setting of a more diffuse cerebellar ataxia should raise suspicions about PCD and justify further investigation of a possible immune-related etiology.

Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access