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What Causes Moyamoya In Adults?

Moyamoya disease is a type of progressive disorder in patients. The problem affects the brain’s blood vessels i.e. cerebrovascular contents. Moyamoya disease characterizes closing i.e. occlusion and narrowing i.e. stenosis of the respective carotid artery within the skull. Carotid artery is the biggest artery to deliver blood towards the brain.

Simultaneously, narrowing of carotid artery results in opening up of tiny blood vessels at the base area of human brain to supply blood towards the brain distal towards the formed blockage. Doctors refer the respective tiny blood vessels as Moyamoya vessels and hence, they named the disease as Moyamoya disease. Inadequate supply of blood further results in reduced delivery of oxygen towards the brain and thus, oxygen deprivation results in various signs and symptoms related to Moyamoya problems.

What Causes Moyamoya In Adults?

Until now, the exact cause of Moyamoya disease in adults has remained unknown. However, doctors know that the disorder takes place in the form of an isolated yet primary disorder, which possess genetic determinants. Alternatively, the problem takes place in combination with varieties of underlying disorders. Accordingly, we can categorize the disease into primary and secondary ones.

Primary Moyamoya Disease

Primary moyamoya disease transmits genetically as any autosomal recessive treat and it accounts for about 10 percent of the total cases in different areas of Japan. Especially, research analysts have reported two big mutations to have relations with the respective subpopulation of Moyamoya patients. These are as follows-
R179 mutations in ACTA2 gene correlates with radio graphically based distinct Moyamoya disease subtype, identified in a small cohort of various patients associated with ACTA2 mutations, which cause aortic and cardiac disorders.

Next, mutations present in RNF213 have strong association with idiopathic and bilateral type of familial disease prevailing in adulthood. Because of this, Moyamoya remains present in maximum 70 percent of total familial cases of East Asian people.

Secondary Moyamoya Disease

Secondary moyamoya disease in adults often takes place because of various other underlying conditions or disorders. These include specific infections, which involve the human’s central nervous system, sickle cell disease, neurofibromatosis type 1 and Down syndrome. In case of susceptible patients, moyamoya takes place after brain’s radiation therapy used to treat specific brain tumors, like craniopharyngioma or optic glioma. Secondary type of disease remains present with key angiographic variations on an occasional basis and it involves only a particular side. Even the process remains unilateral in most of the cases, while in only 30 percent of total patients, the disease progresses also towards their other side.

Signs And Symptoms Of Moyamoya Disease

Common Symptoms In Adults

In most of the cases, adults suffering from Moyamoya disease experience a common symptom i.e., stroke, which leads to paralysis of one’s face, legs, arms and loss of speech.

Alternatively, a few adults suffer from temporary loss associated with neurological functions of their body parts or voice, known as TIAs i.e. Transient Ischemic Attacks.

Other Symptoms In Adults

Along with this, adults may experience other warning signs related to the problem, which include the following-

  • Bleeding in the brain commonly known as brain hemorrhage.
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Lethargy and fatigue
  • Changes in one’s vision
  • Severe form of headache
  • Numbness in different areas of one’s body


To conclude, we should say that even though the basic reason behind Moyamoya disease among adults and children is same. However, in case of adults, they experience the problem according to primary or secondary moyamoya disease. In addition, symptoms in case of adults dealing with Moyamoya disease are somewhat different from children.


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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:April 3, 2019

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