NF is a genetic disorder caused by an abnormal gene in your body. NF is not contagious, which means you can’t catch it from other people. Instead, you can inherit an abnormal gene that causes NF from one of your parents. Or, NF can be caused by a spontaneous gene mutation.
There are two main types of NF. NF-1 is caused by a change in a gene on chromosome 17. NF-2 is caused by a change in a gene on chromosome 22.
Identification of the genes for NF offers tremendous hope for the future. For instance, identification of the NF-1 gene has helped us understand how tumors in NF-1 form. As we understand more about the gene, we hope to be able to predict and control the problems caused by the abnormal gene.