Moyamoya Disease

Moyamoya disease is a rare, progressive cerebrovascular condition caused by blocked arteries in an area of the brain called the basal ganglia, located at the base of the brain.

The name “Moyamoya” means “puff of smoke” in Japanese, and it describes the look of the tangle of tiny vessels formed to compensate for the blockage. In the 1960s, Moyamoya disease was first described in Japan but has since been found in individuals in the other countries around the world. The incidence of Moyamoya disease is higher in Asian countries than in Europe or North America.

The disease affects children primarily, but it also occurs in adults. The first symptom of Moyamoya disease in children is often stroke, or recurrent transient ischemic attacks, also referred to as mini-strokes. Moyamoya disease is also frequently accompanied by muscular weakness or paralysis affecting one side of the body, or seizures. Adults may experience the same symptoms that arise from blocked arteries, but more often they will experience a hemorrhagic stroke due to the bleeding from the abnormal brain vessels.

Moyamoya Disease Symptoms

Moyamoya disease can include the following:

  • Headaches
  • Progressive cognitive or learning impairment
  • Seizures
  • Stroke
  • Transient ischemic attacks

Getting Diagnosed

Our team of specialists provide thorough neurological evaluations using the latest diagnostic technology including CT angiography and 3-D angiography.

We work very closely with the departments of Neurosurgery, Interventional Neuroradiology, Neurology and Radiation Oncology, as well as the Neurocritical Care Center and Stroke Center to ensure an accurate diagnosis and the appropriate treatment for the best outcome.

Your Path to Health and Wellness Starts Here

The Brain Aneurysm Center and Cerebrovascular Surgery and Endovascular Neurosurgery Center of Northwell Health Neuroscience Institute combines advanced technical knowledge and cutting-edge procedures for diagnosing and treating arteriovenous malformations, ruptured and non-ruptured aneurysms, carotid artery dissection and related conditions.


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The Neuroscience Institute

We are dedicated to the world-class diagnosis and treatment of neurological diseases and disorders.