Moyamoya is one of the rare disorders wherein the arteries at the base of the brain called the basal ganglia is blocked, therefore restricting the flow of blood in the brain increasing the risk of a stroke. Moyamoya in Japanese means “puff of smoke” exhibiting the blood vessel that is blocked. The onset of moyamoya can be at any age and studies have linked a mutation in the gene RNF213 to moyamoya and therefore allowing it to run in families but environmental factors along with genetics play a role in any modification.(2) Till now, the most popular solution for moyamoya treatment has been a bypass surgery wherein alternative artery is created to secure blood flow. Other than surgery, blood thinning medications are used to allow easy flow of blood through the narrowed artery and preventing stroke. As far as treatment is concerned, surgery is the only known solution but there have been few accounts wherein herbal or home-based remedies have been claimed to be fruitful.

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Lifestyle Changes After Moyamoya Surgery

After surgical treatment, patients need to cope to lifestyle changes which are not very drastically different from controls but few adjustments are advised. These adjustments include:

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  • The intake of alcohol, caffeine and nicotine in any form (smoking) should be reduced, it is it necessary that it be completely avoided but should not be done in excess because over drinking can lead to excessive urination and thereby the loss of fluid from the body and after all moderation is the key.
  • It is a must that post-surgery; the patients keep themselves well hydrated and drink 2-3 liters of water per day and keep themselves hydrated with juice and health drinks that are not caffeinated.
  • Sport activities immediately after surgery is a risk because it may cause the blood pressure to rise as well as over exhaustion can lead to dehydration.
  • Applying tight clothing or tight eyeglasses in the area in front of the ears where the graft is located should be avoided as it may restrict the blood flow.
  • Activities or exercises that put pressure on the brain should also be avoided. Any outdoor activities such as biking, skating, skateboarding should be done only wearing a helmet especially for children who just went through a surgery.
  • Women are advised to not use birth control pills as it increases the risk of blood clotting although pregnancy is not an issue.(1)

The patient should make sure to have followed up tests such as MRI, neuropsychological tests, blood flow and angiogram be conducted in the interval of 6 months, 3 years and 10-year post surgery for better coping. As mentioned, moyamoya disease seems to have a genetic background, a lifestyle change does not prove to be very beneficial and surgery is the ultimate solution. But, if one does go for alternative therapy, it will not be the treatment but a way to procrastinate stroke.

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According to a paper published in the year 1992, a group of Japanese researchers employed Chinese medication which showed to have immense therapeutic effects when western medication failed. This medication included a mix of medicinal plants and herbs referred to as “The components of Gui-Zi-Fui-Ling-Wan (GW) and Xiao-Xu-Ming-Tang (XT)”. GW and XT include a number of herbs of Chinese, Korean and Japanese origin. This herbal recipe includes a wide range of herbs shown to improve blood flow, regulate the immune system to a basic home-based ingredient used on a daily basis in households such as ginger and honey. An enormous reduction in the heaviness of the posterior region of neck and reduction in stagnated blood was visible and the patient was back to living a normal life after 2 years of routine administration. Another study conducted within India suggested that intake of 450ml of tea per day reduces ischemic stroke and this study is in agreement with a Chinese study in 2007. This functions mainly by reducing blood pressure which is the major cause of stroke.(3)

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Sheetal DeCaria MD

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

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Last Modified On: May 23, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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