Moyamoya disease is a rare, progressive cerebrovascular disorder caused by bilateral blocked arteries at the base of the brain. The name means “puff of smoke” in Japanese and describes the look of the tangle of tiny vessels formed to compensate for the blockage. The disease primarily affects children, but it can also occur in adults. Adults most often experience a hemorrhagic stroke due to recurring blood clots in the affected brain vessels.
Cognition partnered with Dr. David Newell of the acclaimed Swedish Neuroscience Institute (SNI) to illustrate several types of revascularization surgery that can restore blood flow to the brain by opening narrowed blood vessels or by bypassing blocked arteries. Without surgery, the majority of individuals with Moyamoya disease will experience mental decline and multiple strokes because of the progressive narrowing of arteries. Without treatment, Moyamoya disease can be fatal as the result of intracerebral hemorrhage.