Tuberous sclerosis is a neurological disorder that can cause growths (called tubers) and tumors to develop inside vital organs, including the brain, kidneys, lungs, heart and skin. While the tumors typically are non-cancerous, they can cause serious health complications if left untreated. Some individuals with tuberous sclerosis experience developmental delays, mental retardation and/or seizures. Other individuals have milder symptoms, such as unusual patches of light-colored skin, red patches and/or rough growths around the nails.
Tuberous sclerosis is caused by a genetic mutation that either is inherited from a parent or acquired during development. A congenital condition, tuberous sclerosis is present at birth and often diagnosed during infancy, but also can remain undiagnosed in individuals with mild forms. It is a life-long disease that requires ongoing monitoring and management. At UChicago Medicine, our physicians understand that symptoms and health concerns change as patients grow. We provide personalized care for patients in all stages of life and with varying courses of tuberous sclerosis.