Epidemiological and family studies have provided evidence on the role of genetic factors in stroke, particularly in stroke occurring at young age. However, despite its impact, young stroke continues to be understudied. This article reviews the existing literature on the most investigated monogenic disorders (CADASIL, Fabry disease, MELAS, RVCL, COL4A1, Marfan and Ehlers-Danlos syndromes) causing stroke in young and a number of candidate genes associated with stroke occurring in patients younger than 50 years. Although our study failed in identifying strong and reliable associations between specific genes and young stroke, our detailed literature revision on the field allowed us to compile a panel of genes possibly generating a susceptibility to stroke, which could be a starting point for future research. Since stroke is a potentially preventable disease, the identification of genes associated with young stroke may promote novel prevention strategies and allow the identification of therapeutic disease targets.