In this summer heat, who hasn’t tried to guzzle down too much of a cold drink too fast? And when that happens, you know what comes next: brain freeze! However, as seemingly inconsequential as brain freeze is, a new study presented at the Experimental Biology 2012 meeting suggests that looking into brain freeze may actually help solve the mystery of migraines.
To start the study, researchers gathered 13 healthy adults and asked them to drink a glass of cold water through a straw aimed at the roof of their mouth. They were then asked to raise their hands as soon as they hit brain freeze level and again when the pain disappeared.
During the whole ordeal, researchers also tracked the flow of blood in the brain and found that brain freeze is connected to the swelling of the anterior cerebral artery. Apparently, the quick contraction that soon follows is the brain’s way to bringing the pressure down to less dangerous levels. Using the data they have collected on brain freeze, researchers believe that they’ll be able to crack the code when it comes to migraines.
However, not everyone believes that both brain freeze and migraines can be attributed to blood flow changes. For one, migraines are brain disorders and not blood vessel disorders, report the naysayers. At this point, it may still be too early to conclude that brain freeze and migraines have a common link.
Still, ongoing research to prove or disprove anything will end up being beneficial to the general population. Whichever study is proven right is still another step toward medical advancement.
(Photo by Zsolt Botykai via Flickr Creative Commons)