Moyamoya | Frequently Asked Questions

At what age do children typically develop moyamoya symptoms?

The average age of diagnosis is 7, but people of any age can develop moyamoya.

Are there different types of moyamoya?

Yes. The childhood form of moyamoya causes stroke symptoms, such as slurred speech, headaches and seizures. Young adults and older people with moyamoya may also have bleeding in the brain.

Is it possible that my child’s moyamoya will go away without sugery?

No. Moyamoya is a progressive condition. This means the dangerous narrowing in the brain’s blood vessels will get worse over time. This can take years or months, but surgery is the only way to reduce the risk of a potentially life-threatening stroke.

Does my child need to cut back on physical activity?

Symptoms of moyamoya may be brought on, or made worse, by activities that can lead to hyperventilation (over-breathing), a drop in blood pressure or dehydration. To lessen the risk of stroke, your child may need to restrict strenuous play or sports than cause overexertion. Your child’s clinician can make more detailed recommendations for your child.

Should my other children be screened for moyamoya?

Since inherited moyamoya is quite rare in the Western hemisphere, screening siblings is only recommended in certain cases:

  • identical twins of children with moyamoya
  • siblings of children with moyamoya, in families with a history of early stroke

Is there a genetic test for moyamoya?

There is not currently a genetic test for moyamoya.

What is the long-term outlook for kids with moyamoya?

The good news is that most children who have surgery for moyamoya have an excellent rate of recovery and go on to lead normal, active adult lives, including having families of their own.