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A genetic disorder, neurofibromatosis is a condition that targets the nervous system. Characterized by dark skin patches and tumors on the nerves, the condition ranges in severity. While the exact symptoms of the condition depend on the type, common symptoms include skin changes, bone deformities, hearing loss, ringing in the ears, poor balance and intense pain.

Neurofibromatosis, also called as von Recklinghausen’s disease, is a genetically inherited disease of nerve tissue. It causes tumors to grow on nerves (neurofibromas) that lie on or under the skin anywhere in the body. It affects the development and growth of nerve cell tissues. The tumors are usually benign (non cancerous). Even so, in some cases they can be disfiguring. They tend to grow in many numbers and varying size, over the period of years.

Neurofibromatosis (NF) is nervous system disease that causes skin defects and tumors on nerve tissues. It can also lead to other problems. The condition usually worsens over time. Although there is no known cure, treatment can help control symptoms.

The nerve tissue tumors begin in cells that protect nerves. These tumors can vary in size and occur anywhere in the body, including the skin, inner ear, brain, and spinal cord. Most are not cancerous, although some may turn cancerous over time.

The most common type of tumor is called a neurofibroma. This is a noncancerous growth that usually develops on or under the skin. The other common type of tumor is called a Schwannoma. These growths form in cells that help insulate nerves.

NF is a genetic disorder. Genetic disorders are caused by changes (mutations) in genes. They usually run in families.