Health experts offer tips to prevent, recognize stroke

Doctors say stroke can happen at any age

ROANOKE, Va. – Many are still in shock over the news about '90s teen idol and "Beverly Hills, 90210" star Luke Perry dying from a stroke at just 52 years old, but experts said it proves the disease can affect people of any age.

The Hollywood heartthrob’s untimely death is shining a new light on stroke.

Carilion neurologist Dr. James Schmidley has treated stroke victims for decades. He's seen drastic changes in stroke treatment, particularly at Carilion, which is leading the charge for innovative procedures, but some things haven't changed.

"I think the common misperception is, ‘I’m too young to have a stroke. That strokes happen to grandma,’" Schmidley said. "We see people in their teens and people in their ninth and 10th decades."

Nearly three-quarters of all strokes happen in people over the age of 65. But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, strokes are on the rise for people ages 25 to 44.

Quick medical treatment is vital for stroke victims, so here's how you can spot the warning signs with the acronym FAST.

F -- Face drooping.

A -- Arms drooping or limbs weakening.

S -- Speech slurring or difficulty speaking.

T -- Time.

"The sooner, the better. It can make a huge difference. It can turn things around completely," Schmidley said.

Click here to find out how to lower your stroke risk.

About the Author: