Ataxia. Cerebellar degneration means that the part of the brain that controlls coordination and balance is losing cells and likely getting smaller. Ataxia is the clumsiness, imbalance, slurred speech and/or abnormal eye movements that can accompany cerebellar degeneration. A paraneoplastic cerebellar syndrome is when the body's immune response to cancer somewhere else damages the cerebellum "by mistake".
When I research cerebellar degeneration, I find the terms cerebellar ataxia or paraneoplastic cerebellar. Are these all the same condition?
Not the same. Cerebellar ataxia is the loss of coordination due to an illness affecting the cerebellum (as opposed to one affecting the spinal cord, corpus callosum, etc.) A paraneoplastic cerebellar condition is an illness of the cerebellum related to antibodies produced in response to a malignancy (i.e. cancer). Hope that helps. Read more...