Arteriovenous malformations (AVM) are tangles of small connections between arteries and veins in the brain. They range in pressure, flow and hemorrhage risk, from low to high, and can cause stroke in young people. Formed as the embryo develops in the womb, these tangled vessels disrupt normal blood flow in the brain and can enlarge over time. Often “silent” for years, the malformation can eventually create bleeding in the brain and cause severe headaches or seizures. Although an initial rupture can be fatal, more than 90 percent of patients survive with appropriate treatment.

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