Neuropathies and paraproteins

Michael P Lunn
Current Opinion in Neurology 2019, 32 (5): 658-665

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: There is an increasingly recognized association between haematological and neurological disease. This is especially true in the peripheral nervous system in which, to an extent, proof of a link is easier to achieve. The most sensitive low level paraprotein detection methods should always be employed in which a paraprotein is suspected. Peripheral nerves can be damaged not only by the immunological targeting of the myelin by the paraprotein, but by deposition (light chain amyloid and cryoglobulins) or direct infiltration (neurolymphomatosis). This has resulted in other defined paraprotein-related disease pathogeneses.

RECENT FINDINGS: Our opportunities for treating these patients are greater not only through better recognition of disease but also treatments introduced from haematological research. Beyond rituximab, combination therapies, proteasome inhibition and novel biological treatments are being described in haematological practice with early efficacy in neurology. Important developments here should be exploited in neurology to improve outcomes.

SUMMARY: This review of the current literature focuses not only on the long-term outcome studies in anti-myelin-associated glycoprotein neuropathy, but developments in the diagnosis and treatment of monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance and Waldenström's Macroglobulinaemia.

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