Neurofibromatosis Type-2 (NF-2) occurs in approximately 1 in 25,000 people. One distinguishing feature of NF-2 from NF-1 is tumor growth on the 8 th cranial nerve, which is called the vestibulocochlear nerve. This nerve plays a vital role in hearing and balance. Tumors that grow on the 8th cranial nerve are called schwannomas, because they are caused by an overgrowth of Schwann cells, which help nerve cells conduct information as well as protect the nerve cell.

 

To be diagnosed with NF-2, the Children’s Tumour Foundation (2016) states that an individual

MUST have ONE of the following:

1. Tumors noted on both of the vestibulocochlear nerves (8 th cranial nerve)

2. Family history of NF-2

a) Tumor noted on one of the vestibulocochlear nerves (8 th cranial nerve) in a person under the age

of 30

b) Any two of the following: meningioma (tumor that grows in the membrane surrounding your

brain and spinal cord), glioma (tumor that arises from glial tissue), schwannoma or

juvenile/early onset cataracts

Hearing loss and issues with balance usually appear in the late teen to early adult years. Like NF-

1, treatment is usually aimed at controlling symptoms. Surgery can be done to remove tumors

growing on the vestibulocochlear nerve, but there is a risk of losing hearing completely during the

surgery. Chemotherapy and radiation can also be used in individuals with NF-2, but if no significant

symptoms/complications are present medical professionals typically monitor tumor growth using

scans such as MRI’s and CT scans.

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