Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Brain Freeze!! Ice cream and the Blood Vessels

World Hematology 2018 is here today with an interesting fact again with ice -creams. We know that Ice creams have beneficial effect on Blood Vessels but ice creams cause a condition called Brain Freeze. Lets have a look at it today! Here we go……
Known scientifically as sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia, brain freeze is thought to be caused by cold solids or liquids passing over the upper palate of the mouth or back wall of the pharynx.
The International Headache Society, officially recognises the condition, caused by the consumption of cold food and drink. Dr Jorge Serrador, a cardiovascular researcher at Harvard Medical School, conducted research which revealed that the pain was brought on by a rapid increase in blood flow through the anterior cerebral artery, a major blood vessel into the brain. It is thought the rush of cold blood causes the blood vessels to dilate, producing that sudden, intense pain as the blood vessels first open and then close.
“This happens because of the sudden change in temperature at the roof,” explained Dr. L. P. Mohan, dental surgeon. “In medical terms, there’s vasodilatation, (dilatation of blood vessels) triggering local pain receptors causing prostaglandins to be released, which cause pain, sensitivity and inflammation at the site of release. This localised pain is taken up by the trigeminal nerve to send signals to the brain. Since the trigeminal nerve senses pain from the entire face through its many branches, the brain interprets the signal of the brain freeze to be coming from the forehead, hence causing discomfort in that region. 
Joseph Hulihan put it this way: when something cold touches the roof of the mouth, an alarm goes off. The “cold” signal tells the brain to keep itself warm, and the rush of blood builds up pressure that can lead to a headache. There is dilation of blood vessels, caused by a nerve center located above the roof of the mouth — when this nerve center gets cold, it seems to over-react.
The pain associated with brain freezes is the result of rapid cooling and warming, causing the blood vessels to contract and then dilate quickly. Our body looks at the rapid temperature change in the mouth as an indication of a dangerously cold environment, and so our blood cells contract to conserve body heat. As the substance is swallowed, our blood cells return to their previous size and it is this oscillation that is so painful. 
So how to stop the pain? The pain subsides when the blood vessels return to normal, so some scientists have suggested putting the tongue against the roof of the mouth to help warm the blood passing through. Others think drinking warm water could help increase the temperature of the mouth.

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