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Author Topic: Why do we get brainfreeze?  (Read 5179 times)

Offline tangoblue

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Why do we get brainfreeze?
« on: 30/10/2010 18:52:54 »
When you eat an ice cream or something really cold, you can obviously get brainfreeze. i was hoping that someone might know why we get brainfreeze when the cold food/drink doesn't go anywhere near the brain?

thanks very much.


 

Offline RD

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Why do we get brainfreeze?
« Reply #1 on: 30/10/2010 20:00:36 »
"brainfreeze" is just an expression, not literally true. You don't have pain sensors in your brain ...

Quote from: Brain Surgeon Paul Grundy
There aren't any pain receptors inside the head, so nothing inside the head hurts.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/hampshire/6174489.stm

The pain is due to altered blood flow (caused by the freezing food) in the nerves of the palate and face,
(similar to trigeminal neuralgia).
« Last Edit: 30/10/2010 20:13:05 by RD »
 

SteveFish

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Why do we get brainfreeze?
« Reply #2 on: 30/10/2010 20:19:23 »
I think you are talking about trigeminal pain resulting from cooling the trigeminal ganglia which collects sensory information from the face. A ganglia is a peripheral nerve region that contains the neuron cell bodies that send their axons out to the periphery to collect sensory information and send another into the central nervous system to touch (and pain) regions to interpret. The mechansism is not completely understood, but probably cold from the roof of the mouth is conveyed past the ganglia via blood vessels. The reason you feel the pain in the forehead is that this ganglion also collects information from there and it gets mixed up.

There is a very nasty condition, resulting from irritation of this ganglion called trigeminal neuralgia (also tic douloureux), in which the pain comes unexpectedly and repeatedly day and night. I don't know what the current therapy is for trigeminal neuralgia, but it used to be pretty drastic. Steve
« Last Edit: 30/10/2010 20:21:41 by SteveFish »
 

Offline RD

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Why do we get brainfreeze?
« Reply #3 on: 30/10/2010 20:27:36 »
I don't know what the current therapy is for trigeminal neuralgia, but it used to be pretty drastic.

"Drastic" is not an understatement ... http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=79817

Anticonvulsant medication is used to treat it.
 

SteveFish

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Why do we get brainfreeze?
« Reply #4 on: 30/10/2010 20:33:10 »
RD, the folks that have this condition will go quite some distance to avoid the pain. Steve
 

Offline maffsolo

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Why do we get brainfreeze?
« Reply #5 on: 31/10/2010 01:47:20 »
Is this the same reaction usually experienced by eating a spoon full as freshly ground and  prepaired Horse Radish
 

SteveFish

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Why do we get brainfreeze?
« Reply #6 on: 31/10/2010 01:01:52 »
Maffsolo:

At least for me, no. I make my own horseradish and it excites pain receptors in my mouth and nose, so the pain is not in my forehead. Blend with vinegar (or your acid of choice), the longer it is exposed to the air before contacting an acid, the hotter it gets.

Steve

 

Offline Variola

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Why do we get brainfreeze?
« Reply #7 on: 31/10/2010 08:49:33 »
Tango, the pain is caused by rapid constriction and dilation of blood vessels in the sinuses.As Steve pointed out it the the trigeminal nerve responsible for the signal and resulting referred pain, and is why you only get brainfreeze if you eat ice cream too quickly.

Wiki has an entry on it http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice-cream_headache
 :)
 

Offline maffsolo

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Why do we get brainfreeze?
« Reply #8 on: 31/10/2010 14:23:26 »
Maffsolo:

At least for me, no. I make my own horseradish and it excites pain receptors in my mouth and nose, so the pain is not in my forehead. Blend with vinegar (or your acid of choice), the longer it is exposed to the air before contacting an acid, the hotter it gets.

Steve


I see! I was wondering if the same nerve set signals, somehow, was related in any way?
I had always experienced good horse radish by gauging the pain of a tang, I recieve from eating a spoon full.
From my nose extending to the back side dome of my head. Family members and non family members also told me of their experience as being the same.

----------------

Wasabi, or Japanese Horseradish,
has a particularly pungent taste and scent. Now researchers in Japan are using wasabi's overpowering odor in a new type of smoke detector / fire alarm that wakes the deaf through scent instead of sound.

You may have seen or even eaten wasabi before - it's that little dab of light green paste that comes alongside and often inside sushi. As the old Brillcream ads used to say, however, "a little dab'll do ya"... wasabi is STRONG. Though not technically horseradish, wasabi packs a potent punch if you ingest too much at a time. Image a severe slurpee brain freeze, only hot... yes indeed, you want to be careful with wasabi!
---------------

Thank you for that info. I will let it sit and air out and shake things up a bit before fixing it up .
I like it hot ~!~

« Last Edit: 31/10/2010 15:07:09 by maffsolo »
 

Offline Variola

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Why do we get brainfreeze?
« Reply #9 on: 31/10/2010 14:56:21 »
Interestingly, if I happen to sample a particularly strong rum, ( which I am partial to doing) I get a warm hit at the nape of my neck, just above C4, and then the usual pleasant warm feeling down my throat. ( no pervy comments Don!)  :)
 

Offline maffsolo

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Why do we get brainfreeze?
« Reply #10 on: 31/10/2010 15:55:47 »
from ~!~ to 



Hey, that is quite the smoke detector

(no pervy comments)
« Last Edit: 31/10/2010 16:05:39 by maffsolo »
 

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Why do we get brainfreeze?
« Reply #10 on: 31/10/2010 15:55:47 »

 

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