Moyamoya disease is a rare and progressive cerebrovascular disorder that is caused by blocked arteries at the base of the brain in the basal ganglia. The name Moyamoya describes the look of the tiny vessels that form so as to compensate for the blockage. In Japanese, the word “Moyamoya” means “puff of smoke”. First found in people in Japan during the 1960s, it has ever since been found to be in individuals in the United States, Australia, Europe and Africa. Primarily, the disease affects children, though it can occur in adults as well.
The first symptom of Moyamoya disease tends to often be stroke or recurrent transient ischemic attacks that are also commonly called mini-strokes. These symptoms are accompanied by muscle weakness or even paralysis that may affect one side of the body or cause seizures. In the case of adults, they often experience hemorrhagic stroke because of speech deficits, involuntary movements, sensory and cognitive impairments and vision problems.
Most patients suffering from Moyamoya disease tend to experience mental decline and several strokes because of a progressing of the narrowing of arteries. If treatment is not sought, the disease can become fatal as a result of intracerebral hemorrhage.
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