What is tuberous sclerosis?
Tuberous sclerosis is a group of 2 genetic disorders characterized by problems with the skin, brain/nervous system, kidneys and a predisposition to tumors. The diseases are named after a characteristic abnormal growth in the brain in the shape of a tuber. Tuberous sclerosis is a genetic disorder affecting cellular differentiation and proliferation, which results in hamartoma formation in many organs (eg, skin, brain, eye, kidney, heart).
Tuberous sclerosis causes growths in the brain, eyes, heart, kidney, skin or lungs. These growths are usually benign (not cancer). The first signs may be seizures and spots on the skin. Some people who have tuberous sclerosis may have learning problems or seizures that are hard to control.
Tuberous sclerosis isn't common, but it isn't rare either. Up to 40,000 people in the United States have it. The disorder occurs in both sexes and in people of all races and ethnic groups.