What are paraneoplastic neurological complications?

Paraneoplastic neurological complications are rare disorders resulting from the immune system's response to cancer cells elsewhere in the body. This immune response mistakenly attacks the normal tissues of the nervous system, causing various neurological symptoms.

What are some common symptoms of paraneoplastic neurological complications?

Common symptoms may include:

  • Memory problems
  • Confusion
  • Mood changes
  • Hallucinations
  • Slurred speech
  • Tremors
  • Unsteady gait
  • Limb weakness


We will conduct a thorough evaluation to ensure an accurate diagnosis. If paraneoplastic neurological complications are suspected, your doctor may arrange the following assessments to confirm the diagnosis:

  • Medical history
  • Physical examination
  • Biopsy
  • Blood tests
  • Electromyography (EMG)
  • Medical imaging such as an MRI or CT scan
Neurology and neurosurgery

Get referred

To receive a diagnosis or treatment from an Epworth specialist, the first step is to schedule an appointment with your GP and request a referral.

Treatment and management

Your Epworth care team will work together with you and your family to plan the best approach to treatment and symptom management.

The treatment of paraneoplastic neurological complications focuses on two main aspects:

  1. Managing the underlying cancer, and
  2. Addressing the neurological symptoms

Your Epworth neurologist may suggest the following to help treat your condition and reduce the impact of your symptoms:

  • Cancer treatment

    Learn more about our approach to cancer care at Epworth.

  • Immunosuppressive medication

  • Plasmapheresis

    This procedure aims to remove harmful antibodies from the blood.

  • Intravenous immunoglobulin

    This procedure aims to add healthy antibodies into the bloodstream.

  • Ongoing management

    Your Epworth care team will arrange follow-up appointments to assess treatment effectiveness and adjust treatment plans as needed.

Our locations

For paraneoplastic neurological complications

Your care team at Epworth

Learn more about the health professionals in the neurology care team.

Neurology and neurosurgery

Choosing your Epworth specialist

Meet our specialist neurologists and neurosurgeons, accredited at Epworth.