Moyamoya Disease

Moyamoya Disease

A complete spectrum of care for rare and complex neurological conditions like moyamoya disease is available at Tampa General Hospital’s Neuroscience Institute. Our neurology hospital is among the most active in the region and features one of the largest neuroscience intensive care units in the country. Thanks in part to our world-class expertise and commitment to innovation, TGH is recognized as a “high performing” hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery by U.S. News & World Report for 2023-24.

Causes of Moyamoya Disease

Moyamoya disease is a chronic and progressive cerebrovascular disorder that’s caused by blocked arteries in the basal ganglia—a group of complex structures located at the base of the brain. The incidence of moyamoya disease is highest in Asian countries. Children between the ages of 10 and 14 and adults in their 40s are most often diagnosed with this condition.

The precise cause of moyamoya disease is unknown, although genetics are thought to play a role in select cases.

Symptoms of Moyamoya Disease

The most common signs of moyamoya disease among children are strokes and recurrent transient ischemic attacks (TIA), sometimes referred to as “mini strokes.” Adults with moyamoya disease can also experience these problems, typically along with brain bleeding (hemorrhagic stroke) related to abnormal blood vessels.

Moyamoya disease symptoms associated with reduced blood flow to the brain include:

  • Seizures
  • Difficulty understanding others, speaking or thinking clearly
  • Headaches
  • Vision problems
  • Fainting
  • Involuntary movements
  • Numbness, weakness or paralysis, often on one side of the body

Often, these symptoms occur after performing physical activity, coughing, crying or other strenuous movements.

Moyamoya Disease Diagnosis

Diagnosing moyamoya disease usually involves performing an electroencephalogram (EEG)—a test that measures the brain’s electrical activity through small, metal discs that are strategically placed on the scalp. This test can expose an electrical pattern indicative of moyamoya disease when the patient breathes in deeply.

Moyamoya Disease Treatment

Promptly treating moyamoya disease is critical, as brain bleeding and frequent strokes can lead to rapid cognitive decline and death. Treatment most often involves neurosurgery to open blocked or narrowed blood vessels and improve blood flow to the brain. Medication can also be prescribed to help lower the risk of stroke.

Become a TGH Patient

To schedule an appointment at Tampa General Hospital’s Neuroscience Institute and learn more about our approach to moyamoya disease, call (800) 822-3627 or use our Find a Doctor database to find a neurologist. Our team is here to answer your questions and ensure you receive the world-class care you deserve.