Patients harboring brain arteriovenous malformation (bAVM) are at life-threatening risk of rupture and intracranial hemorrhage (ICH). The pathogenesis of bAVM has not been completely understood. Current treatment options are invasive, and ≈ 20 % of patients are not offered interventional therapy because of excessive treatment risk. There are no specific medical therapies to treat bAVMs. The lack of validated animal models has been an obstacle for testing hypotheses of bAVM pathogenesis and testing new therapies. In this review, we summarize bAVM model development and bAVM pathogenesis and potential therapeutic targets that have been identified during model development.