Dorsal Root Ganglia and Peripheral Nerves

Robert B. Darnell and Jerome B. Posner

in Paraneoplastic Syndromes

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780199772735
Published online April 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199322916 | DOI:

Series: Contemporary Neurology Series

Dorsal Root Ganglia and Peripheral Nerves

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Paraneoplastic syndromes affecting the peripheral nervous system (PNS) are more common than those affecting the central nervous system (CNS). PNS paraneoplastic syndromes can cause several different types of peripheral neuropathy as outlined in Table 8–1. Paraneoplastic syndromes can affect the PNS anywhere along its course, from the primary neuron residing in the dorsal root ganglion or spinal cord to its distil nerve endings, and they can affect motor, autonomic, or sensory fibers either individually or together. Motor peripheral nerve fibers originate from anterior horn cells and were considered in Chapter 6. Paraneoplastic syndromes can also affect the motor nerve axon or its myelin covering; these disorders are considered in this chapter. The autonomic nervous system begins in the intermediolateral cell column of the spinal cord, but since it is often difficult to distinguish clinically disorders of the neuron from those of its peripheral extension (electrophysiologic tests can sometimes make the distinction), autonomic disorders are considered in this chapter. Sensory neurons have their origin at nerve endings in skin, muscle, or other organs and their cell bodies are in the dorsal root ganglion. Neurons carrying proprioceptive information enter the posterior columns of the spinal cord without synapsing and ascend to the brainstem, the site of the first synapse. Neurons that carry information about pain, synapse in the posterior horns of the spinal cord before ascending via the spinothalamic tracts to the brain. Isolated paraneoplastic sensory abnormalities are almost never a direct effect of spinal cord involvement, but are common complications of damage to the dorsal root ganglia. Accordingly, sensory neuropathies (more strictly neuronopathies) are discussed in this chapter.

Chapter.  18076 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neurology

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