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Malcolm in the Middle star Frankie Muniz revealed he suffers from mini-strokes and concussions that have impacted his memory.
The actor relies on pictures and videos to remember anything that happened in his childhood, including when he starred on the hit TV show.
Memory - Problems - Monday - ABC - Stars
The 31-year-old, who spoke about his memory problems on Monday during ABC's Dancing with the Stars, has experienced nine concussions and a 'fair amount' of mini-strokes.
Daily Mail Online spoke with Dr Lee Schwamm, director of Massachusetts General Hospital Comprehensive Stroke Center in Boston, about mini-strokes and why the actor might be experiencing memory problems.
What is a mini-stroke and how does it differ from regular strokes?
A mini-stroke is layman's term for a transient ischemic attack (TIA) in the brain.
TIAs - Lapse - Blood - Flow - Parts
TIAs occurs when there is a temporary lapse of blood flow in parts of the brain, spinal cord or retinas.
These attacks on the brain only last for a few minutes and cause no permanent damage to neurological functions.
'They - Damage - Brain - Imaging - Effects
'They don't leave any damage to the brain on imaging or lasting effects,' Dr Schwamm said.
He explained that a brain scan would tell doctors if the patient is having a TIA or a regular stroke.
Strokes - Damage - Brain - Damage - Memory
Regular strokes show damage on a brain scan and can cause permanent damage to the memory, arms, legs or other neurological functions.
Muniz said he hasn't visited any doctors about his mini-strokes so there is no brain scan to determine the impact of these episodes.
Dr - Schwamm - Doctor - Brain - Scan
But Dr Schwamm said it is necessary for a doctor to do a brain scan on a patient who is experiencing similar symptoms in order to narrow down what might be the cause.
If the patient is experiencing a series of TIA's that do not appear on a brain scan, then Dr Schwamm said there are other potential causes for why they...
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