The Washington Post

Frankie Muniz suffers mini-stroke at 27? How can that be?

Actor Frankie Muniz, best known for his role in “Malcolm in the Middle,” reportedly tweeted Tuesday that he was hospitalized last week after suffering a mini-stroke – an experience he described as being “not fun at all.”

A mini-stroke? Muniz is 27 (as of Wednesday). How can that be?

Stroke – including “mini-stroke,” formally known as a transient ischemic attack, or TIA, can occur at any age, according to this everything-you-need-to-know-about-stroke Web page from the National Institutes of Health.

Last year the CDC reported that the incidence of stroke among young adults ages 15 to 44 rose by 37 percent from 1995 to 2008. The study noted a concurrent rise in the prevalence of stroke risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol and tobacco use among this age group during that time.

The NIH explains that TIA “starts just like a stroke but then resolves leaving no noticeable symptoms or deficits. The occurrence of a TIA is a warning that the person is at risk for a more serious and debilitating stroke. Of the approximately 50,000 Americans who have a TIA each year, about one-third will have an acute stroke sometime in the future.”

As I reported in October (on the occasion of World Stroke Day), symptoms of stroke include:

● sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body

● sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding

● sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes

● sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination

● sudden severe headache

Any stroke, mini or otherwise, is a medical emergency. If you have stroke-like symptoms, get thee to a hospital, fast.


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