Background: GENetics of mOyaMoyA (GEN-O-MA) project is a multicenter observational study implemented in Italy aimed at creating a network of centers involved in moyamoya angiopathy (MA) care and research and at collecting a large series and bio-repository of MA patients, finally aimed at describing the disease phenotype and clinical course as well as at identifying biological or cellular markers for disease progression. The present paper resumes the most important study methodological issues and preliminary results.
Methods: Nineteen centers are participating to the study. Patients with both bilateral and unilateral radiologically defined MA are included in the study. For each patient, detailed demographic and clinical as well as neuroimaging data are being collected. When available, biological samples (blood, DNA, CSF, middle cerebral artery samples) are being also collected for biological and cellular studies.
Results: Ninety-eight patients (age of onset mean ± SD 35.5 ± 19.6 years; 68.4% females) have been collected so far. 65.3% of patients presented ischemic (50%) and haemorrhagic (15.3%) stroke. A higher female predominance concomitantly with a similar age of onset and clinical features to what was reported in previous studies on Western patients has been confirmed.
Conclusion: An accurate and detailed clinical and neuroimaging classification represents the best strategy to provide the characterization of the disease phenotype and clinical course. The collection of a large number of biological samples will permit the identification of biological markers and genetic factors associated with the disease susceptibility in Italy.
Keywords: Endothelial progenitor cells; Genetics; Markers; Moyamoya disease; Network.