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The most common presenting symptom for patients with an AVM is brain hemorrhage. In addition, patients can have:
Progressive neurological symptoms, such as weakness and difficulty with speaking or swallowing
Impaired intellectual functions in short or long-term memory
All of these symptoms can affect a patient's ability to perform in school, work or simple daily activities.
Some AVMs are asymptomatic and will never even be diagnosed. Usually, the presenting symptoms help identify the part of the brain where the AVM is located. For example, if the AVM is in one of the brain's visual areas, there may be changes in eyesight. If an AVM is located in a part of the brain that controls motor skills, weakness on one side of the body may become apparent.