Moyamoya disease is a rare and progressive cerebrovascular condition in which the carotid artery at the base of the brain narrows or becomes blocked, decreasing blood flow to the brain. In an attempt to deliver the blood the organ needs, tiny vessels at the base of the brain open up. In Japan, where Moyamoya disease was first described, the term means "puff of smoke" in Japanese, which describes this tangle of tiny blood vessels.
Moyamoya disease can occur at any age, but it tends to begin in childhood, in people five to ten years old. In adults, people between the ages of 30 and 50 are most affected. The symptoms partially depend on age; children are likely to have transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) or ministrokes. Children with Moyamoya disease may also experience seizures, uncontrollable movements, speech difficulties, developmental delays, headaches, and periods of temporary paralysis. Strokes are more common in adults with the condition. Older people also tend to experience vision problems, such as the loss of vision in one eye, trouble identifying objects, blurry sight, and poor vision in both eyes. Fainting and cognitive decline may also occur.
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