Neurofibromatosis Type 1

(NF1; Von Recklinghausen's Disease)


Neurofibromatosis is a genetic disorder that causes tumors in the nervous system. Tumors develop in the nerves or the tissue that surrounds the nerves, called myelin sheath. Neurofibromatosis is divided into three types, neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2), and schwannomatosis. The type is determined by the specific genes that are affected.This articles discusses NF1, the most common neurofibromatosis. It affects the nerves outside the brain and spinal cord, called peripheral nerves.
The Nervous System
Nucleus factsheet image
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.


NF is caused by a change in a specific gene. The gene normally makes proteins that help control growth in the nerves. Since the gene is defective, these proteins are not able to control growth, and tumors develop.In many cases, the abnormal gene is inherited from a parent. A person with the inherited form of NF has a 50% chance of passing the abnormal gene to each child. Any parents, children, and siblings of an affected individual should be considered at risk for NF. However, the gene change can occur in a person with no family history of NF.

Risk Factors

The main risk factor for NF is having a family member with the disease.


Most symptoms begin between birth and age 10. NF1 may cause:
  • Light brown spots (called café-au-lait spots) on the skin
  • Freckles in the armpits or groin
  • Larger than normal head circumference in children
  • Shorter than normal stature in children
  • Problems with growth of spine ( scoliosis ), bones of skull, or shin bones
Other medical conditions that are associated with NF1 include:

leave comments
Did you like this? Share with your family and friends.
Related Topics:
Current Research From Top Journals

Water Before Meals May Promote Weight Loss
August 2015

A randomized trial found that drinking water before main meals led to higher weight loss than those who were asked to imagine a full stomach before main meals. Water preloading is believed to help create a feeling of fullness or satiety during the meal, which may help curb overeating.

dot separator
previous editions

Fecal Transplants Induce Ulcerative Colitis Remission
July 2015

Exercise Associated with Healthy Baby Weight
June 2015

Mindful Meditation May Reduce Symptoms and Complications of Insomnia
May 2015

dashed separator


Our Free Newsletter
click here to see all of our uplifting newsletters »