The Cincinnati Neurofibromatosis Center serves as a resource to patients and families affected by the different types of neurofibromatosis (NF) by providing comprehensive diagnosis, treatment and research for these conditions.

Established in 1986, the NF Center includes a pediatric NF Clinic, Adult NF Clinic, NF / Neurology Clinic, NF Orthopedics and a Neuro-Oncology Clinic for patients with central nervous system and plexiform tumors.  Since its inception, the NF Center has evaluated and managed more than 800 patients with NF1, NF2, segmental NF and schwannomatosis.  The Cincinnati NF Center was also one of the first 20 programs chosen by the Children’s Tumor Foundation (CTF) to be part of the national NF Clinic Network, and is one of the nine centers chosen to be part of the NF Clinical Consortium.

The NF Center’s mission is to provide excellent patient care and to participate in NF science and research. Our multidisciplinary center has expertise in all areas of NF care, with special emphasis on:

  • Treatment of brain tumors, plexiform neurofibromas and cancers
  • Orthopedic management of scoliosis and tibial dysplasia (abnormality of bone formation in the lower leg)
  • Learning disabilities and ADHD
  • Surgical management of vestibular schwannomas (tumors on hearing nerve) in NF2

We also supply referrals to additional specialists as needed.

Patients may be seen at the Burnet or Liberty campuses.

What Is Neurofibromatosis?

NF is the term for a set of genetic disorders whose primary feature is the growth of tumors derived from nerve cells.  There are two major types of NF.  NF1 is the most common type, affecting one in 3,000 births.  NF1 can be characterized by changes in skin pigment, tumors, bone abnormalities and frequent learning disabilities (see NF1 Diagnostic Criteria). NF2 is a separate genetic disorder and is characterized by tumors of the eighth cranial nerves and other nerves, which can result in hearing loss and other complications.  Patients who have a family history of NF1 are not at increased risk for NF2 and vice versa.

Segmental NF is a form of NF1 where features are seen in only a limited segment of the body, not the entire body.

Schwannomatosis is a rare form of NF that has only recently been organized.  Persons with schwannomatosis develop multiple schwannomas (Schwann cell tumors) on cranial, spinal and peripheral nerves, without other signs of NF1 or NF2.  These tumors are often limited to a single segment of the body.