NF2 causes benign tumors of the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves. The types of tumors frequently associated with neurofibromatosis type 2 include:
- vestibular schwannomas
Almost all people with NF2 develop vestibular schwannomas in both ears.
In adults, the most common features of NF2 occur due to the development of vestibular schwannomas, including:
- hearing loss
- ringing in the ears (called tinnitus)
- loss of balance or foot weakness
- focal neurologic problems (i.e., weakness)
In children, NF2 most often presents with focal neurologic deficits such as foot drop.
People with NF2 can develop schwannomas (tumors) on other nerves. These tumors can cause severe pain, numbness, and weakness. About 50-75% of people with NF2 will also develop meningiomas along the brain or spine.
Ependymomas may develop inside the spine in about 20% of people with NF2.