Psychiatric Disturbance or Parkinsonism as a Presentation of CNS Lymphoma: Observational Retrospective Study and Review of Literature

Akanksha Sharma, Sophia Dube, Luke Mountjoy, Natalie Ertz-Archambault, Alyx Porter, MacIej M. Mrugala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective:To evaluate the incidence of and characterize the presentation of neuropsychiatric symptoms and/or Parkinsonism as a presentation of central nervous system lymphoma (CNSL) in either its primary CNSL form or when it spreads to the brain in systemic diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (secondary CNSL).Patients and Methods:With Institutional Review Board approval we identified patients who had been treated at Mayo Clinic from 1998 to 2018 and were recorded to have a combination of ICD 9/10 codes for CNSL and various psychiatric diagnoses.Results:A total of 20 of the 232 patients (9%) were noted to have neuropsychiatric symptoms preceding diagnosis. The average age at diagnosis was 62, with even split for sex. The majority (85%) of patients had primary CNSL. The average duration of symptoms before the diagnosis was 4.8 months. Confusion (80%), depression (40%), apathy (30%), anxiety (30%), and agitation (30%) were the most common symptoms identified. The majority (65%) of patients had subcortical lesions followed by the frontal lobe (50%). Parkinsonism was identified in 5 of the 20 patients with 4 demonstrating resolution of symptoms with treatment of the lymphoma.Conclusions:Neuropsychiatric symptoms are a rare but notable symptom before the presentation of CNSL. There is an increasing awareness of neurological illness presenting as pure psychiatric disturbance, prompting the need to exclude organic and treatable diseases, particularly in elderly patients. Acknowledgment and diagnosis are important for an appropriate management as there is a significant impact on patient and caregiver quality of life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)727-733
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Oncology: Cancer Clinical Trials
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020


  • Parkinsonism
  • central nervous system lymphoma
  • lymphoma
  • neuropsychiatric symptoms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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