This information is provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD).
Intracranial arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are abnormal connections between the arteries and veins in the brain. Most people with brain or spinal AVMs experience few, if any, major symptoms. About 12 percent of people with this condition experience symptoms that vary greatly in severity. Seizures and headaches are the most common symptoms of AVMs but individuals can also experience a wide range of other neurological symptoms. AVMs can cause hemorrhage (bleeding) in the brain, which can be fatal. Symptoms can appear at any age, but are most often noticed when people are in their twenties, thirties, or forties. The cause of AVMs is not yet well understood but it is believed that AVMs result from mistakes that occur during embryonic or fetal development. Medication is used to treat general symptoms such as headache, back pain, and seizures caused by AVMs. However, the best treatment for AVMs is often surgery or sterotactic radiosurgery.
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