Moyamoya Disease Symptoms

Moyamoya Disease Symptoms

Moyamoya disease symptoms, such as strokes, mini-strokes and seizures, are expertly diagnosed and treated by some of the region's leading specialists at the Moyamoya Center at North Shore-LIJ Health System's renowned Cushing Neuroscience Institute.

The most common initial Moyamoya disease symptoms in children consist of transient, or temporary, episodes of muscle weakness or paralysis on one side of the body, sometimes alternating sides between episodes. These symptoms are caused by transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) or small ischemic strokes. Some children may experience seizures or involuntary movements and even exhibit signs of mental retardation. In young patients, Moyamoya disease is usually associated with headaches, speech difficulties, hemorrhage and anemia.

The most common Moyamoya disease symptom in adults is intracranial hemorrhage, or bleeding within the skull. Disturbances of consciousness or subarachnoid hemorrhaging (bleeding in the connective tissue covering the brain) are also common symptoms.

A comprehensive list of Moyamoya disease symptoms include:

  • Stroke. There are two types of strokes:
         1. An ischemic stroke occurs when a brain artery has been blocked.
         2. A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when an artery ruptures or leaks
  • Recurrent transient ischemic attacks. Also known as TIAs or mini-strokes, transient ischemic attacks result from a temporary blockage of an artery in the brain by a blood clot or plaque (fatty deposit) that breaks away from an artery wall elsewhere in the body. Symptoms include weakness, dizziness or headache and usually go away by themselves in an hour as the temporary blockage clears. Recurrent TIAs are precursors of an ischemic stroke that can cause permanent damage or death.
  • Hemiparesis. Muscle weakness on only one side of the body. Hemiparesis, resulting from a stroke, commonly involves muscles in the face, arm and leg.
  • Seizures. Seizures occur when the electrical system of the brain malfunctions. The result may be a surge of energy through the brain that causes unconsciousness and contractions of the muscles.
  • Disturbed consciousness. May include fainting, dizziness or lightheadedness.
  • Speech deficits or difficulties speaking.
  • Sensory impairments. These impairments can affect vision, hearing, taste and temperature sensitivity.
  • Involuntary movements. Involuntary movements of the musculoskeletal system.
  • Vision problems. Visual abnormalities may occur alone or in combination and include loss of sight in one eye (hemianopia), blurry vision (diplopia), poor vision in both eyes (bilaterally diminished visual acuity) and the inability to recognize objects.

Leading-edge Diagnosis of Moyamoya Disease

The Moyamoya Center uses quantitative flow MRA diagnostic testing during the pretreatment evaluation process.  Cutting-edge MRA tests such as Nova® qMRA improves produces a fully rotating 3D model to show the blood vessels from every angle. The resulting report and images of the blood vessels show blood flow volume, velocity and direction.

Additionally, diagnostic tests for Moyamoya disease include:

  • MRI – Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Diagnostic cerebral angiography – X-ray images of the inside of cerebral blood vessels
  • Brain SPECT imaging – a nuclear medicine study that assesses cerebral blood flow.

Make an appointment at the Moyamoya Center
Cushing Neuroscience Institute’s Moyamoya Center makes it easy for you to take the first steps in ensuring the best neurological care for yourself and your family. Simply email us at or call us at (516) 562-3064 or 844-56Neuro (844-566-3876). You may also fill out our Request an Appointment form.