The probability for ice cream headaches always seems to increase proportionately with the temperature. Next time you’re waiting in line for a cone, you’ll be better equipped to handle them.
The elusive headaches, also known as brain freeze, have confounded scientists for years, but that confusion may end soon. Scientific American describes the study in which they may have finally pinpointed a probable cause:
“These healthy, self-sacrificing adults took sips of extra-cold water through a straw, which they aimed at the roof of their mouths. While their lips were sipping away, subjects’ brains were monitored via transcranial Doppler, which can sense changes in arterial blood flow.”
The research team found that during a brain freeze, your cerebral artery opened wider to pump extra blood to the brain. The bad news: you still shouldn’t inhale your salted caramel ice cream, but if you do, we now know to drink something warm. The hot liquid will cause the cerebral artery to shrink back down to size, thus ending your brain freeze.
Brain Freeze Might Help Solve Migraine Mysteries from Scientific American