Understanding ‘brain freeze’ could help treat migraine, study says

TORONTO – Researchers at Harvard Medical School have been studying so called “brain freeze” headaches — the sharp, but thankfully short term pain in the brain you get from gulping down ice cream or some other frozen food or drink.

They’re hoping it might lead to treatments for far more serious forms of headache such as migraines.

The results suggest brain freeze headaches are triggered by a sudden increase in blood flow in the anterior cerebral artery as the brain works to stay warm.

The study found the pain disappears again when this artery constricts.

Study leader Jorge Serrador says brain blood flow changes similar to those seen in brain freeze could be associated with migraines and other types of headaches.

He says if further research confirms this, then finding ways to control brain blood flow could offer new treatments for headaches.


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