Moyamoya disease describes the progressive narrowing and obstruction of the main arteries feeding the brain. This can cause stroke and hemorrhage. The brain attempts to prevent stroke by forming secondary pathways of blood flow at the base of the brain which look like a puff of smoke on angiographic studies (moyamoya means "puff of smoke" in Japanese).
Patients with moyamoya disease usually complain of headaches or stroke symptoms such as weakness or speech dysfunction. Computed tomography or magnetic resonance of the brain help assess determine if stroke for hemorrhage has occurred. Generally, angiography is used to make a formal diagnosis.
If left untreated, moyamoya disease can lead to progressive strokes or hemorrhages on both sides of the brain.
Initial treatment usually includes antiplatet medications such as aspirin. Due to the progressive nature of the disease, it is frequently necessary for patients to undergo a surgical procedure to improve the blood flow to the brain.
Barrow Neurological Institute has helped to pioneer and refine many of the surgical procedures used to treat moyamoya disease over the past 30 years.
We provide complete care of moyamoya disease patients, including evaluation by a neurologist and neuropsychologist, medical and surgical treatment, and rehabilitation (if necessary). Moyamoya disease patients who need rehabilitation can be treated by Barrow Neurorehabilitative Services.
In addition, Barrow Neurological Institute is involved in both clinical and laboratory research to understand and better treat moyamoya disease.