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Neurofibromatosis (NF), sometimes called Von Recklinghausen disease, is among the most common genetic disorders and can affect anyone, regardless of family history, age, race, gender, or ethnic background.
There are two types of NF:
Both forms are characterized by the growth of benign tumors called neurofibromas.
These tumors can grow anywhere in the body where there are nerve cells, including just under the surface of the skin, as well as deeper within the body, spinal cord, and/or brain.
In NF1, neurofibromas most commonly grow on the skin or on the nerves of the eyes. A tumor that grows on one of the nerves of the eyes is called an optic glioma. If it grows large enough, it can cause problems with vision and even blindness.
In NF2, neurofibromas most commonly grow within the spinal cord or brain. Specifically, the tumors are found on the nerves of the ear and can involve the branches that help hearing or balance. These so-called acoustic neuromas, if large enough, can lead to deafness or invade other parts of the base of the brain.
Children’s Hospital’s Brain Care Institute is a leader in neurological research and has made major discoveries in understanding the genetic, molecular, cellular, and organizational bases for NF in children.
Current NF research and clinical trials in the area of neurofibromatosis include:
Learn more about Child Neurology.
Children's Hospital's main campus is located in the Lawrenceville neighborhood. Our main hospital address is:
UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
One Children’s Hospital Way
4401 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
In addition to the main hospital, Children's has many convenient locations in other neighborhoods throughout the greater Pittsburgh region.
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Interested in giving to Children's Hospital? Visit Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation's website to make a donation online.