September 17

child eating ice cream. Photo Credit: Clipart.com. Photo Credit: Clipart.com.

Science Fact

Brain Freeze

Sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia, more commonly known as brain freeze, is caused by a constriction of the sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia nerves, a bundle of nerves found behind the nose and near the trigeminal nerve in the brain, often after quickly consuming cold drinks or food, like ice cream.

Scientists aren't positive about what triggers brain freeze, although results of a small study in 2012 suggested that it might be related to blood flow changes that occur when the upper palate cools rapidly and passes that cooling along to the brain's blood vessels, which constrict to conserve heat.

This is not a serious health condition and it can be remedied by pressing your tongue to the roof of your mouth to help warm the sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia nerves back up.

Check out these related Science NetLinks resources:

Select a Date