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Neurofibromatosis 2 (NF2)

Makayla Christenson received an auditory brainstem implant to preserve hearing while undergoing surgery to remove tumors caused by neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2) at UC San Diego Health.

UC San Diego Health News

Surgeons preserve hearing in NF2 patients with innovative brainstem implant.

One confirmed risk factor for acoustic neuroma is a rare genetic mutation called neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2), a genetic disorder that causes largely non-cancerous (benign) tumors of the nervous system including the brain, spinal cord and nerves.

Approximately 1 in every 25,000 people worldwide is affected by this disorder. Of these cases, half are inherited or passed down from a parent with NF2. The other half is a result of a spontaneous genetic mutation.

The onset and course of NF2 varies from person to person. Most individuals with NF2 experience their first symptoms in their teenage years or early 20s. However, some individuals may not have problems until their 40s or 50s.

Almost all affected individuals develop acoustic neuroma tumors (vestibular schwannomas) on both sides of the brain. Early signs of acoustic neuromas can include hearing loss, tinnitus (ringing in the ear) and balance problems. Although bilateral vestibular schwannoma tumors are most common, people with NF2 can develop tumors on other nerves. The symptoms depend on their location.

At UC San Diego Health, we partner with patients and their families for life. The center provides patients a collaborative and compassionate space for all their needs.

We work with Rady Children's Hospital San Diego to care for adults and children with NF1, NF2 and Schwannomatosis. Clinicians collaborate between institutions to ensure that each patient has access to the most current medical and surgical treatments that are appropriate for their case.

Both institutions provide multidisciplinary programs with access to subspecialists with expertise in NF, including otolaryngology/ENT, neurology, neuro-oncology, audiology, neurosurgery, medical genetics, ophthalmology and orthopedics. 

We work closely with our NF2 patients and their families to develop a customized treatment plan.

See acoustic neuroma treatment.