What is Neurofibromatosis?

Neurofibromatosis ("NF") occurs when tumors form on your nerve tissue due to a genetic disorder. The tumors can appear anywhere on your nervous system. They are generally noncancerous tumors but have the potential to become cancerous. The symptoms are usually mild. However, the condition can cause complications that can affect hearing, vision, learning, cardiovascular issues, and cause intense pain. The condition is usually caught and diagnosed during childhood. Genetic defects cause NF, or it occurs spontaneously at conception.

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Types of Neurofibromatosis and Related Symptoms

There are three types of Neurofibromastosis with vary symptoms for each. There are NF1, NF2, and Schwannomatosis.


This type is usually diagnosed during childhood. The symptoms that a child has this type of NF are usually clear between birth and ten years old. The symptoms are often mild but can be severe, depending on the specific person. Below you will find common symptoms of NF1.

  • Skin Spots: Many people have large light brown spots on their bodies. While a couple is entirely normal, more than six of these spots indicate NF1. These spots are usually on the child's body at birth or during the first few years of their life.
  • Head Size: Children with more significant than average size heads can indicate NF1.
  • Height: Children who are below average height-wise can also indicate NF1.
  • Freckles: If the child develops freckles in their armpits or groin area around the ages of three to five, this could be a symptom of NF1. They are noticeably smaller in comparison to the skin spots described above.
  • Learning Disabilities: Children may experience impaired thinking skills and trouble with early development. The issues are mild but noticeable.
  • Bone Deformities: Bowed lower legs or scoliosis caused by a deficiency in bone mineral density can be a sign of this type of NF.


This type is less common than NF1. The symptoms that someone has this type of NF occur from the development of benign, slow-growing tumors in the ear. This usually happens during the late teen and early adult years. Below you will find common symptoms of NF2.

  • Poor balance
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Headaches
  • Gradual hearing loss


This the rarest type of Neurofibromatosis and usually is diagnosed in people over 20. This type of Neurofibromatosis causes tumors to develop on the cranial, spinal, and peripheral nerves. Below you will find the common symptoms of Schwannomatosis.

  • Loss of muscle
  • Numbness or weakness
  • Chronic pain

What are the Common Risk Factors of Neurofibromatosis?

While the condition can impact almost anyone, certain factors place people at a higher risk. For this condition, the most common risk factor is a family history of the disorder. For those who are affected by NF1 or NF2 and don't have affected relatives, it was likely caused by a gene mutation at conception. It's important to note that with NF1 and NF2, any child that has a parent with the disorder has a fifty percent chance of inheriting the genetic mutation. The inheritance for schwannomatosis is less clear but is generally around a fifteen percent chance.

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What are the Treatment Options for Neurofibromatosis?

If you or your child have experienced symptoms of Neurofibromastosis and are concerned, you may have it, contact our office. We can help diagnose your issue and discuss treatment options with you. While we like to take a conservative approach to treatment, some patients may need more intensive care. Depending on your specific and unique needs, we can provide you with the support you need to treat your pinched nerve.

The most important thing about Neurofibromastosis is getting an early diagnosis and starting treatment as soon as possible. Because the condition is generally caught early, treatment is focused on healthy development and managing any related complications. Treatment options also depend on the severity of the condition. Often patients have mild to nearly no symptoms, so the only focus is managing the condition and ensuring that none of the tumors grow or cause issues in the body. If conservative treatment is unsuccessful or management of the condition requires more intense intervention, Dr. Yashar may suggest surgery. Dr. Yashar will evaluate you based on your individual medical needs and history to determine the best treatment approach.

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Dr. Yashar at Yashar Neurosurgery

Dr. Yashar is the preeminent neurosurgeon in Los Angeles. He is highly accomplished and experienced in the spine, brain, and neuro-interventional procedures. Contact Yashar Neurosurgery for a consultation today.