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Frankie Muniz Has a Stroke at 26 & It Could Happen to You Too

by Nicole Fabian-Weber on December 5, 2012 at 11:51 AM

frankie munizFrankie Muniz, star of Malcolm in the Middle, suffered a mini-stroke recently -- a stroke at the incredibly young age of 26. Muniz, who appeared on Good Morning America today, said: "I couldn't say words. I thought I was saying them! My fiance was looking at me like I was speaking a foreign language." Apparently, the actor was riding his motorcycle in Phoenix last Friday when he lost vision in one eye. Afterwards, his friends started noticing that he was "acting really weird," and they got really freaked out. Muniz began to have trouble speaking and understanding words, so he was taken to the ER, where doctors concluded that he had a mini-stroke.

Pretty scary. And pretty uncommon. Only 10 percent of stroke sufferers are under the age of 45. So, what caused Frankie's stroke? And what are the signs that you're having one?

Unfortunately, there isn't one exact thing that can be pinpointed as to why a stroke happens in young people. (A stroke is basically blood being blocked from an area in the brain.) Internet commenters everywhere right now are speculating drugs, but Muniz swears he doesn't drink, do drugs, and has never even touched a cigarette. Another possible cause people are speculating is Muniz's diet, which honestly, who knows about. (I mean, he doesn't look unhealthy.) But high cholesterol is another cause of strokes.

Now. What are the signs you're having a stroke? Well, there are a few. (But if you ever have one or some of these signs, doesn't mean it's a stroke -- remember a few years ago when that news reporter couldn't say words during a broadcast? That wasn't a stroke; it was a migraine.) Numbness on one side of the body can be a sign of a mini-stroke, as can speech and vision impairment (like Muniz). Confusion, difficulty saying words, or the inability to follow commands can be possible signs, as well.

Thankfully, Muniz is okay, but man, talk about weird. It's sad that this had to happen, but let this be a lesson to all: If you're not acting right and feel "weird" as Muniz did, seek medical attention ASAP.

Do you know anyone who's had a stroke?

Image via Splash

Filed Under: celebrity


  • navym...
    -- Nonmember comment from


    December 5, 2012 at 12:08 PM
    All of those symptoms can also be precursors to a seizure.
  • purvi...


    December 5, 2012 at 12:11 PM
    I also had a mini stroke at age 26 (February 2011). After almost 6 months of testing they concluded that it was caused by a combination of birth control pills and a minor heart defect. No more hormonal birth control for me ever and I had corrective surgery to fix the small heart issue. I spent almost a year on blood thinners as a precaution.

    It really upsets me that many people's first assumptions are drugs and alcohol. It's so naive to think that things like this only happen to drunk, drugged out, unhealthy people. Everyone needs to know the signs and symptoms of a stroke!
  • spect...


    December 5, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    I'm sorry that that happened to you, purvislets, but people assume drugs because it's usually the cause if you have them this young. They are extremely rare in this age group. You are correct that when it is an actual medical problem, it takes a bit longer to diagnose because it usually is something strange, like your case . I had a "friend" who is 27 and had a stroke at 23, and it was from too much drugs. They are EXTREMELY rare if you are that young, and he is a "washed up" Hollywood child star... hence why everyone feels it's safe to assume he probably isn't a rare medical anomaly, just did a bit too many drugs. 

  • proud...


    December 5, 2012 at 1:09 PM
    My mom had one at 30. She has a blood disorder that makes her blood thicker and therefore prone to clots. She couldn't speak either that was really the only symptom. Than she got to the hospital where they told her she was lucky because technically the clot should have hit her heart first but some how it didn't. Scary stuff. It's possible his stroke could have been caused by a blood disorder as well
  • Leigh
    -- Nonmember comment from


    December 5, 2012 at 1:13 PM
    @ spectramom. While it is true that drugs are sometimes the cause of these seizures, anyone that has followed Muniz's career, or even looked him up on wikipedia can tell you that those accusations are unfounded. Muniz never BECAME a washed out star. Washed out stars usually end up leaving by default after a struggling downcline in their careers and personal lives. Muniz, however, chose to end his career with a modicum of success to pursue other goals including a college degree and a fairly successful stint as an open wheel racer, which is ongoing. This year he competed in the Atlantic Championship for the sport. He is also a successful drummer with the band Kingsfoil and engaged to his longtime girlfriend as of last year. Not once has he failed his drug tests and he has even won the sportsmanship award for the Atlantic racing series. Please at least look up the person you are accusing before making unfounded accusations. Muniz has had a very stable career and life of his own choice a outside of acting and has grown up to be a very productive member of society. Your accusation and unfounded assumption draw away from the young people who DO have these seizures due to serious and often undiagnosed conditions. Thank you for your time.
  • Bob192


    December 5, 2012 at 2:51 PM

    Very scary,  I have not heard of anyone having a stroke that young! 

  • Carly
    -- Nonmember comment from


    December 5, 2012 at 3:04 PM
    My dad had a stroke when he was 39. He was a cop for I think 15 ish years, and a volunteer firefighter. He ran 3 miles every other day, some weeks every day. The only reason my mom called 911 when it happened was just a feeling in her gut. Since my dad was in such excellent health, he was out of the hospital in 2 weeks, mostly able to walk and talk. He had to go through a year and a half of speech therapy though. Know the signs, and stay in shape. The doctors said it was a freak thing, because he was so healthy, but that if he wasn't in as good shape as he was, he could have spent at least 6 months in the hospital. I'm just blessed to have my daddy in my life still, as my mom points out every day.
  • 4kidz916


    December 5, 2012 at 6:36 PM

    That is a very young age for a stroke.  Glad he's doing ok now. 

  • lalas...


    December 5, 2012 at 8:28 PM

    Very scary!  My grandfather had a stroke =(

  • Madel...


    December 5, 2012 at 8:50 PM


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