Actor Frankie Muniz, the former child television star who appeared on "Malcolm in the Middle," told his Twitter followers he suffered a "ministroke." Muniz just turned 27-years-old. But doctors say, strokes are striking people at a younger age.
Muniz was reportedly taken to an emergency room when friends noticed he was confused and had trouble speaking. He says it was a Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) or a mini-stroke.
Dr. George Newman, a neurologist at Einstein Medical Center, calls it a warning that a bigger stroke could happen in the future. "A blood vessel to his brain was blocked and, as a result, there was not enough oxygen getting there and then immediately that part of the brain shut down," says Newman.
According to the American Academy of Neurology, strokes in young people are on the rise. Dr. Newman says one out of every seven strokes occurs under age 40. "In the young group, women are at risk because of migraine and birth control use," says Newman. He also says lifestyle choices could be to blame.
Brent Wylie of West Oak Lane had a stroke last year at the age of 23. He says it hit him without warning. "I couldn't see anything to the left of me. I couldn't eat. I couldn't lift my arm," Wylie told NBC10.
Wylie says doctors don't know what caused his stroke. Now, he is determined to regain control of his arm and leg. Dr. Newman says younger people tend to have faster, better recoveries.
Medical experts warn, the best way to prevent a stroke is to stop smoking, eat right and exercise.
Call 9-1-1 if you have weakness, vision changes or sudden trouble speaking, walking or talking. A sudden severe headache could also signal a problem.