NF has three genetically distinct forms: NF-1, NF-2 and Schwannomatosis, which are caused by different genes and chromosomes. The effects of NF are unpredictable and have varying manifestations and degrees of severity. There is no known cure for any form of NF, although the genes for all three types of neurofibromatosis have been identified.

NF Type 1

Neurofibromatosis Type 1 (also known as NF1 or von Recklinghausen’s Disease) is a genetic disorder characterized by the development of multiple benign (non-cancerous) tumors along the nerves and on the skin, known as neurofibromas. Patients often have areas of abnormal skin color, commonly called café au last spots.

NF1 is the most common type of neurofibromatosis, affecting 1 in 3,000 people worldwide, and is usually diagnosed at birth or early childhood.

NF Type 2

Neurofibromatosis Type 2 (also known as NF2 or MISME syndrome—multiple inherited schwannomas, meningiomas, and ependymomas) is a genetic disorder which may be inherited or may arise spontaneously. The main manifestation of the condition is the development of benign brain tumors. Many people with NF2 also experience vision problems.


Schwannomatosis (also known as NF Type 3) is the rarest type of neurofibromatosis and has only recently been recognized. Similar to NF2, 

NF1 is also known as von Recklinghausen disease,
named after the pathologist credited with its discovery.

National Institutes of Health