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Get Ice Cream Brain Freeze? You Might Get Migraines, Too

come on--get brain freeze!
(Photo by Marco Secchi/Getty Images)

Scientists have confirmed what many have believed for a long time.  There appears to be a connection between brain freeze and migraines.

Scientists have been using brain freeze to study the migraine like effects, because it’s quick, can be controlled, and does not involve using medicines to induce migraines–that can often cause side effects. From Fox News:

The researchers brought on brain freeze in the lab by having 13 healthy volunteers sip ice water through a straw right up against the roof of their mouth. The volunteers raised their hands when they felt the familiar brain freeze come on, and raised them again once it disappeared.

The researchers monitored the blood flow through their brains using an ultrasoundlike process on the skull. They saw that increased blood flow to the brain through a blood vessel called the anterior cerebral artery, which is located in the middle of the brain behind the eyes. This increase in flow and resulting increase in size in this artery brought on the pain associated with brain freeze.

Scientists believe drugs that can control this artery, and the way blood is distributed to the brain, can be a key to controlling, or perhaps preventing, migraines.  Wouldn’t that be something great for the many people who suffer these incapacitating headaches!   And it explains why the rest of us still can’t wolf down ice cream as fast as we want to.

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