Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC): Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 9/10/2019

Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is a relatively rare genetic disease. It causes benign (noncancerous) tumors or growths in the brain and other vital organs (for example, kidneys, heart, eyes, and skin).

Signs and symptoms of TSC vary according to the location and size of the tumors. When the growths of TSC involve the brain, signs and symptoms can include seizures, developmental delays, learning disabilities, autism, and behavior problems. Other associated symptoms of TSC can include red bumps or spots on the skin, raised areas of skin on the forehead (forehead plaques), and small tumors around the toenails and fingernails.

Cause of tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC)

Mutations on two genes, TSC1 and TSC2, can cause tuberous sclerosis complex; however, only one of the genes needs to be affected.

Other tuberous sclerosis complex symptoms and signs

  • Areas of Thick Leathery Skin (Shagreen Patches)
  • Autism
  • Benign Tumors
  • Developmental Delays
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Raised, Discolored Areas on the Forehead (Forehead Plaques)
  • Red Bumps on the Skin
  • Seizures
  • Small Tumors Around the Fingernails or Toenails

From WebMD Logo

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Children's Health & Parenting Newsletter

By clicking "Submit," I agree to the MedicineNet Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy. I also agree to receive emails from MedicineNet and I understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet subscriptions at any time.

Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.