Moyamoya is a blood vessel disorder which is very rare. In this condition, carotid artery present in the skull area narrows leading to insufficient flow of blood in the brain. The term moyamoya has been derived from a Japanese word which means puff smoke. This term displays the appearance of clusters on blood vessels. These small blood vessels fails to supply the required amount of oxygen and blood essential for normal brain functioning. This ultimately leads to temporary or at times even permanent brain disorder.
Does Moyamoya Run In Families?
Moyamoya disease is not limited to any particular region of the world but it is commonly found in people of East Asian countries, like Japan, China and Korea. The reason behind this can be the genetic problem that runs in the families. More and more cases of moyamoya have been noticed in Asian countries.
Asian Descent – Genetic Problem – People who have a family history of moyamoya have around thirty to forty percent higher chance of developing this problem. This indicates that the problem is genetic in nature.
The exact cause of moyamoya is not known but there are certain factors that may raise the risk of suffering from this condition:
Moyamoya may get triggered by other health problems such as neurofibromatosis, Down syndrome, anemia and so on. This means that individual suffering from any of the above mentioned problems are at a higher risk of suffering from moyamoya.
If the problem is left untreated for prolong period of time then it can lead to stroke or blockage or even ballooning of blood vessels. This condition adversely affects the way brain functions and can lead to brain disability. Research has revealed that this condition is mostly seen in children and at times adults also may experience the symptoms of the problem.
Moyamoya can affect people of any Age group, but it is commonly encountered in children between five to ten years old and it adults between thirty to fifty years. Severe symptom of this problem is stroke or mini stroke and common symptoms includes:
- Disturbance in vision
- Cognitive Decline
- Frequent Headache
- Weakness or partial paralysis
- Difficulty in speaking
The above mentioned symptoms can be triggered if the patient indulge in exercise, staining or suffer from fever and cold.
Till date the exact cause of moyamoya is not known. Survey report has revealed that although the problem can occur in individual of any country or origin but it commonly seen in Korea, China, Japan and in nearby countries. Researchers have a strong belief that as majority of people from Asian countries are suffering from this problem, so it may be genetic in nature. In addition, moyamoya is deeply associated with other health conditions like hyperthyroidism, down syndrome, neurofibromatosis and anemia.
For diagnosing moyamoya, doctor will first ask about the symptoms and family medical history. Further, doctor may also prescribe some tests to confirm that the problem is actually moyamoya. Some of these tests are:
- Magnetic resonance imaging
- Computerized tomography scan
- Cerebral angiography
- Transcranial Doppler ultrasound
- Positron emission tomography
Depending on the severity of the problem doctor suggest the treatment method. If the problem is very severe then doctor suggest surgical treatment but if the disease is at an early stage then medication is prescribed to the patient. Medication helps in eliminating the risk of seizure or stroke:
Blood Thinners. If the problem is diagnosed at a very early stage then blood thinners like aspirin can help in preventing stroke.
Calcium Antagonists. This medication is also known as calcium channel blockers. This medication is effective in controlling symptoms like headache and problem related to transient ischemic attacks.
Anti-Seizure. This medication is prescribed for controlling seizure attack.
Moyamoya is a very severe brain disorder, hence; if one feels or experience any of the symptoms of the problem then immediately visit a doctor.