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If you are reading this, you are probably aware that Marcie suffered a stroke in June 2015. Actually, it was a cluster of 16 small strokes which left her in the hospital for three days and then a rehab facility for another five days. Upon discharge and follow up with Marcie's primary care physician, she was referred to a neurologist with the hope of determining the cause of the strokes. Marcie had a CTA in August, a cerebral angiogram in November and a brain SPECT study in December. Marcie was eventually diagnosed with unilateral Moyamoya disease, a very rare, progressive cerebral vascular disease in which certain arteries in the brain are either constricted or occluded. In order to compensate for the occlusion, the brain develops additional vessels to increase the blood flow to the brain. These new vessels are weak and prone to hemorrhage, placing one at a much greater risk for a stroke. Their appearance on a cerebral angiogram resembles a "puff of smoke" or "Moyamoya" a term coined by a Japanese team who first described the disease. Marcie consulted with four different neurosurgeons, including a Moyamoya specialist at Stanford University, and ultimately decided to proceed with bypass surgery as there is no effective drug treatment for Moyamoya. The surgery is aimed at bypassing the blockage with another artery in order to restore normal blood flow to the brain.
Marcie will undergo STA-MCA (superficial temporal artery - middle cerebral artery) bypass surgery on Wednesday, March 30. If all goes well, she will be discharged on Friday, April 1. A full recovery at home will take several weeks at the least.