Neurofibromatosis 2 (NF2) is an autosomal dominant disorder that causes nervous system tumors and ocular abnormalities such as early-onset lenticular opacities. We assessed the clinical spectrum of NF2 at the time of presymptomatic DNA diagnosis in at-risk first-degree relatives. We studied five multigeneration NF2 families with short tandem repeat markers near the NF2 gene (NF2); gadolinium-enhanced high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (GE-MRI); and ocular, dermatologic, and neurologic examinations. Eleven of 31 asymptomatic at-risk first-degree relatives were predicted by segregation analysis to be NF2 mutation carriers. Nine of the 11 NF2 mutation carriers were clinically evaluated. Four mutation carriers, including a 7- year-old, had vestibular schwannomas, early-onset cataracts, or both. However, five mutation carriers did not have clinical abnormalities, including a 38-year-old with normal cranial and spinal GE-MRIs and a normal ocular examination. These results indicate that clinical abnormalities can be present in young, but absent in middle-aged, presymptomatic NF2 mutation carriers. By identifying presymptomatic NF2 mutation carriers, DNA diagnosis of NF2 can improve genetic counseling and clinical management, and possibly reduce psychosocial difficulties in at-risk individuals.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology