PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The phakomatoses are a group of inherited disorders with variable clinical manifestations that are characterized by brain, cutaneous, ocular and other distinct lesions in multiple organs. Correctly recognizing the neuro-ophthalmic signs and symptoms can lead to early diagnosis and treatment. The group is composed of neurofibromatosis (type 1 and 2), tuberous sclerosis complex, von Hippel-Lindau, ataxia-telangiectasia and Sturge-Weber syndromes. However, more than 60 syndromes have been described in the medical literature. This review provides an update on the diagnosis and management of phakomatoses with a focus on their clinical neuro-ophthalmic manifestations. RECENT FINDINGS: Phakomatoses are a group of inherited syndromes with variable clinical manifestations that are characterized by brain, cutaneous, ocular and other distinct lesions in multiple organs. Recent advances in diagnostic and treatment options that have contributed to prompt recognition and management of these disorders are discussed with an emphasis on the beneficial effects on vision. SUMMARY: Phakomatoses, also known as neuro-oculo-cutaneous syndromes, are inherited disorders with characteristic lesions in multiple organs. Because of their frequent ocular involvement thorough ophthalmologic and neuro-ophthalmic evaluation is critical in this patient population in order to prevent vision loss and life-threatening complications that are often associated with these disorders.