Neurocognitive Impairment in Adults With Moyamoya Disease Without Stroke

Neurosurgery, 02/24/2012

Cognitive impairment in moyamoya disease (MMD) can occur in the absence of ischemic stroke as manifested on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).


  • The authors performed detailed neuropsychological assessments in 30 adults with angiographically confirmed MMD without magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) evidence of stroke.


  • Twenty patients (67%) exhibited small T2 hyperintensities in the cerebral subcortical white matter on brain MRI but no evidence of gray matter damage.
  • Significant cognitive impairment, defined as half of test scores ≥1 SD below the normal mean, was present in 7 patients (23%).
  • Executive functioning, mental efficiency, and word finding were the ability areas most frequently impaired, whereas memory was relatively intact.
  • Clinically significant emotional distress (depression and/or anxiety) was present in 11 patients (37%).
  • Comparable cognitive findings were also observed in the subset of 10 patients (33%) with completely normal static brain MRI.

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