What is Moyamoya Disease?

Moyamoya disease and other forms of intracranial stenosis cause the progressive narrowing of vessels in the brain. This can cause transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) and stroke. Over time, patients may develop severe headaches, TIAs and strokes leading to neurological problems, including vision, speech, movement and sensation problems. Moyamoya can appear at any age. Although it is considered a rare disease, it is often misdiagnosed.

The treatment of moyamoya and intracranial stenosis begins with radiological studies to confirm the diagnosis and plan for treatment. Moyamoya patients are started on aspirin and asked to stay well hydrated. The definitive treatment for moyamoya is direct cerebral bypass. Patients can go on to live normal, healthy lives following direct cerebral bypass. This surgery dramatically reduces the risk of stroke in moyamoya patients.

Patients are evaluated and treated in our Cerebral Revascularization Program in the Department of Neurosurgery. The Penn State Cerebral Revascularization Program is one of a few programs in the country that specialize in the treatment of moyamoya with direct bypass.

Click here to read about the Penn State Revascularization Program.

Symptoms, Diagnosis and Outlook

  • Symptoms of moyamoya and intracranial stenosis include headache, and stroke like symptoms including vision changes, speech difficulties, weakness, and numbness.
  • The surgical treatment for moyamoya is cerebral revascularization with direct cerebral bypass.
  • Following bypass, patients can go on to live normal, healthy lives.

Support Groups

Support groups provide an opportunity to share your feelings and connect with other patients and caregivers who are experiencing similar struggles. A new diagnosis of moyamoya can be a challenging time. Please contact the Penn State Moyamoya Program at moyamoya@pennstatehealth.psu.edu.

Learn more about support groups offered

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Why Choose Penn State Health for Care

The experts at Penn State Health Cerebral Revascularization and Moyamoya Program are internationally recognized leaders in the treatment of complex cerebrovascular disease, including direct cerebral bypass. We offer comprehensive and leading-edge treatments for patients with moyamoya disease, other occlusive cerebrovascular conditions, and complex aneurysm and vascular malformation. We are also committed to advancing knowledge of these conditions through research and education.

For more information please contact us at moyamoya@pennstatehealth.psu.edu.