Symptoms of Neurofibromatosis

Neurofibromatosis can cause a wide range of signs and symptoms depending on the severity of the condition. The manifestations of neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF 1) generally appear in early childhood and affect the skin, eyes, bones, veins, and nerves. Symptoms include:

  • Café-au-lait spots (light brown patches of pigment on the skin)
  • Freckles in the underarm or groin area
  • Neurofibromas (benign skin tumors that may also be found on nerves and organs)
  • Lisch nodules (small tumors on the iris), or glaucoma
  • Hearing loss
  • Headaches
  • Seizures
  • Scoliosis or other bone abnormalities
  • Facial pain or numbness
  • Learning disabilities or hyperactivity
  • Rarely, brain tumors or aneurysms

Symptoms of neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2) often don’t appear until adolescence or early adulthood and include:

  • Hearing loss
  • Headaches
  • Vision changes
  • Cataracts
  • Problems with facial movements
  • Difficulty with balance and walking
  • Seizures
  • Neurofibromas and café-au-lait spots

Neurofibromatosis, whether Type 1 or Type 2, is a complicated disorder that is best treated at a major medical center with a multidisciplinary Neurofibromatosis Program that ensures each patient a comprehensive treatment plan.

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Our Care Team

  • Vice Chair, Neurological Surgery
  • Director, Pediatric Neurological Surgery
Phone: 212-746-2363
  • Vice Chair for Academic Affairs
  • Professor of Neurological Surgery, Pediatric Neurosurgery
  • Associate Residency Director
Phone: 212-746-2363
  • Chief of Neurological Surgery, NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist
  • Professor, Neurological Surgery
  • Director, Brain Metastases Program
  • Co-director, William Rhodes and Louise Tilzer-Rhodes Center for Glioblastoma
Phone: 212-746-1996 (Manhattan) / 718-780-3070 (Brooklyn)
  • Chair and Neurosurgeon-in-Chief
  • Margaret and Robert J. Hariri, MD ’87, PhD ’87 Professor of Neurological Surgery
  • Vice Provost of Business Affairs and Integration
Phone: 212-746-4684

Reviewed by: Jeffrey Greenfield, Ph.D., M.D.
Last reviewed/last updated: April 2021

Weill Cornell Medicine Neurological Surgery 525 East 68 Street, Box 99 New York, NY 10065 Phone: 866-426-7787