Schwannomas are typically sporadic lesions which stem from the Schwann cells that myelinate (or insulate) the peripheral nerves. Patients with multiple schwannomas are more likely to have an associated familial tumor syndrome, such as Neurofibromatosis Type II (NF2). NF2 is a disorder in which a person inherits a defective gene, called NF2, that affects the merlin tumor suppressor protein thereby permiting growth of tumors such as schwannomas and meningiomas. The patient depicted here has NF2 and multiple schwannomas arising from the nerve roots – where the peripheral and central parts of the nervous system join.
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