Neurofibromatosis is a rare genetic disorder that causes benign tumors of the nerves and growths in various parts of the body. The effects of it are varied – some patients barely exhibit symptoms while others have severe neurological issues. Primarily there are two kinds of neurofibromatosis – NF1 (Type 1) and NF2 (Type 2).
Nf1 is seen to manifest at either birth or in early childhood and is characterised by benign tumors on or under the skin and light brown spots. This may be accompanies by the enlarged and deformed bones. There may also be an unnatural curvature of the spine (scoliosis). People suffering from NF1 sometimes develop brain tumors or tumours on cranial nerves or the spinal cord.
NF2 might appear in childhood, adolescence or even early adulthood and is characterised (among other things) by benign tumors of the auditory nerves.
Recently, a third disorder, which is related, has been recognised – schwannomatosis. It has much in common with NF1 and NF2 but recent research leads us to believe it is a completely distinct genetic disease. Schwannomatosis is more commonly diagnosed in adults over the age of 30.