Neurofibromatosis, also known as NF, is a genetic disorder that affects the growth of nerve tissue. There are two different types of Neurofibromatosis. One of these types, NF Type 1, is the most common type of disease. This type affects people all over the world. NF Type 2 is much rarer than NF Type 1, and it affects only men.
The Difference Between Neurofibromatosis Type 1 and Type 2
What are the Symptoms of Neurofibromatosis Type 1?
Symptoms of NF Type 1 can vary from person to person. According to Healthline, the most common symptoms are small bumps on the skin, also called neurofibromas. These bumps are caused by abnormal nerves growing beneath the surface of the skin. These bumps are usually found on the head or neck. Some people with NF Type 1 have other symptoms. These other symptoms can be anything from learning disabilities to tumors in the brain.
What are the Symptoms of Neurofibromatosis Type 2?
The symptoms of NF Type 2 are different for each person, but there are some commonalities. According to NF Network, most men with NF Type 2 do not start to show signs of the disease until after puberty. The most common sign of NF Type 2 is café-au-lait spots. These spots are tan to brown patches on the skin that usually measure about four centimeters across. Other symptoms include hearing loss, skeletal issues, and joint problems. There are also certain signs of NF Type 2 that an affected fetus will show during pregnancy.
What is the Treatment for Neurofibromatosis Type 1?
There is no cure for NF Type 1 or NF Type 2. The best treatment a person with NF Type 1 can get is total excision of the lesions. However, if a person has NF Type 1, it is also important to keep the underlying disease in check by observing any changes in their nervous system. It is also important to see a doctor regularly to be sure that any changes are caught early.
What is the Treatment for Neurofibromatosis Type 2?
According to NF Network, some men with NF Type 2 will develop tumors in their nervous system. These tumors can cause other problems like learning disabilities, learning loss, and the need to use a wheelchair. If this is the case, men need to visit their doctor as soon as possible. For instance, electrodesiccation and laser therapy are two ways that nerve tumors can be treated. Some medications can help relieve the symptoms.
How is Neurofibromatosis Type 1 Diagnosed?
According to Healthline, there are two ways that doctors diagnose NF Type 1. The first way is to examine the skin. The second way that doctors can diagnose NF Type 1 is through physical and neurological testing. Physicians may also recommend that a person with NF Type 1 take a chromosome and genetic test to determine the cause of their symptoms.
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How is Neurofibromatosis Type 2 Diagnosed?
How physicians diagnose NF Type 2 can vary greatly. Some physicians use the same methods they use to diagnose other diseases. Other physicians may suggest that a man see a genetic specialist to determine the cause of their disease. A genetic specialist can use a chromosome analysis to find out if a man has NF Type 2. The specialist will then be able to recommend the best treatment for the individual.
How is NF Type 1 Diagnosed in Children?
According to Healthline, there are several ways physicians can diagnose NF Type 1 in children. The easiest way is to examine the skin. However, if a child does not display any symptoms, the physician must perform genetic testing on their child to determine if they have NF Type 1.
How is NF Type 2 Diagnosed in Children?
According to NF Network, most men with NF Type 2 will not show signs of the disease until after puberty. However, a doctor can also determine if a man has NF Type 2 by examining the skin, hearing loss, and changes in their spine. These changes in the spine can indicate that men have NF Type 2. Some men will also show signs of the disease during pregnancy.
How is NF Type 1 Diagnosed in Women?
According to Healthline, if a woman has very few or no symptoms, they may not need any treatment for their condition. If someone has more than three neurofibromas and does not display any symptoms, they must see a doctor specializing in treating nerve disorders. Genetic testing may also be required to determine whether or not the woman has NF Type 1.
How is NF Type 2 Diagnosed in Women?
According to NF Network, most women with NF Type 2 will not show any signs of the disease. However, if a woman displays symptoms, they typically include café-au-lait spots and other skin discolorations. A doctor can also determine if a woman has NF Type 2 through physical examination. The doctor can also test the woman’s nervous system by taking X-rays or doing MRIs.
Can One get both NF Types 1 and 2?
According to Healthline, about half of all people with NF Type 1 will also have NF Type 2. However, a person can never have both types of disease. According to NF Network, the only way a person can get both types is if they inherit their NF Type 2 on top of their NF Type 1, and it develops without any treatment.
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What is the life expectancy for those with Neurofibromatosis?
According to Healthline, those with NF Type 1 usually live normal lives. However, people with NF Type 2 can be affected by early neuro tumors or other complications. These men may develop tumors in the nervous system. It is also possible for someone to be born with NF Type 2 that could develop into NF Type 1.
What is the prevalence of Neurofibromatosis?
NF Type 1 is the most common neurofibromatosis. As many as one in every 5,000 men have NF Type 1. The prevalence of NF Type 2 is less than one in every 100,000 people. Only one in every 50,000 women has NF Type 2.
Are there any complications associated with Neurofibromatosis?
According to NF Network, NF Type 1 can cause cardiac problems. The risk of developing a heart complication is anywhere from 1% to 4%. Men with NF Type 2 have an even higher chance of having complications from the disease. If a person has NF Type 2, they can develop tumors in the nervous system. These tumors can cause other problems such as learning disabilities and learning loss.
Overall, Neurofibromatosis is a relatively rare nervous disorder that can be diagnosed in infants and children. The disease will display itself during puberty, and most people will have symptoms by adulthood. There is no cure for NF Type 1 or NF Type 2. However, if a person has either form of the disease, they need to regularly see a doctor to ensure that their condition does not progress.