Neurofibromatosis Type 1 and Getting Social Security Disability Benefits

Neurofibromatosis is a neurocutaneous syndrome. Neurocutaneous syndromes are disorders that result in the growth of tumors in different areas of your body. These disorders are brought about by the abnormal formation of cells in an embryo and are marked by the development of tumors in different areas of your body and by certain differences in your skin.

Neurofibromatosis primarily involves how your nerve cells grow and develop. It involves your nerves, spinal cord and brain. However, neurofibromatosis may also affect your skin and other body systems. Neurofibromatosis may result in the growth of benign (non-cancerous) tumors on your nerve tissue that cause bone and skin abnormalities. In a few instances, these tumors can be malignant (cancerous).

There are three forms of neurofibromatosis. They are:

Type 1 (NF1) – The most common form of neurofibromatosis, which usually begins at birth and results in deformed bones and skin changes
Type 2 (NF2) – This type of neurofibromatosis usually begins during the teen years and results in poor balance, hearing loss and ringing in the ears
The third and most rare kind of neurofibromatosis is schwannomatosis, which causes intense pain.

As just mentioned, neurofibromatosis type 1 is the most common kind of neurofibromatosis. Neurofibromatosis type 1 is evidenced by the development of non-cancerous tumors that are referred to as neurofibromas. These tumors usually grow right beneath or on your skin. They also form in your peripheral nervous system and brain. However, these tumors may also form in other areas of your body, like your eye.

Neurofibromatosis type 1 a genetic condition. It is caused by a defect (mutation) in a gene on chromosome 17. About 50% of the time, you inherit this defective gene from one of your parents. In the other 50% of the cases of neurofibromatosis type 1, the mutation is new and probably took place during your development as an embryo inside of your mother.

The signs and symptoms produced by neurofibromatosis may vary widely, as well as the severity of these signs and symptoms. Some of the possible signs and symptoms include:

Distinctive spots on your skin that increase with age that are the color of coffee with milk
Freckles that increase with age
Benign tumors that form on the optic nerve that connects your eye to your brain (optic gliomas)
Curvature of the spine (scoliosis)
A larger than average size head
Benign growths on the iris of your eye (Lisch nodules)
High blood pressure (hypertension)
Learning disabilities
Short stature
Bone defects
Soft bumps right under or on your skin (neurofibromas).

Neurofibromatosis type 1 is not on the Social Security Administration’s list of impairments. This does not mean that you or your child with this disorder will not be eligible to get Social Security disability benefits. It all depends on how severe the disorder is and whether it has brought about complications that have resulted in you or your child’s disability.

A disability attorney is the right one to talk to. A disability attorney may be able to enable you to get the Social Security disability benefits that you or your child have coming to you.

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