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Details about Neurofibromatosis

The month of May is National Neurofibromatosis (NF) Awareness Month.

NF is a genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow on nerve tissues. They can grow anywhere in your nervous system, including on your brain and spinal cord.

It can also cause optic glioma, and Lisch nodules, bone deformities, learning disabilities, fine and gross motor skills delays, and multiple Café au lait spots.

There are three types of NF - NF 1, NF 2 and Schwannomatosis.

NF 1 is the most common and affects one in 3,000 people of all races and genders.

Fifty percent of the people with NF inherited it, and a spontaneous mutation on a very-long arm of chromosome 17 results in the other 50 percent.

In April, the FDA approved a drug called Selumetinib that can shrink plexiform tumors in individuals two-years old and older.

With continued research, maybe one day there will be a cure for NF.

Sheila Zavorka