Posted by: Jamie Stamm | June 4, 2008

Cold-stimulus headaches

On the way home tonight, the kids and I swung by Sonic for slushies to combat the still-above-80-degree temperatures. But just a few sips into mine, I developed a serious case of brain freeze. Oh, the pain!

As I watched my kids down their drinks in the backseat without any ill effects, I started to wonder, does brain freeze affect us more as we get older?

I took my query to the Internet, and though I didn’t find the exact answer to my question, I learned more about brain freeze than I ever wanted to know. For example, did you know that the scientific name for brain freeze is sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia (although my new favorite “slang” term for it is cold-stimulus headache), and that it’s been estimated that only 30 percent of the population experiences brain freeze? (Thanks, Wikipedia.)

And for those of you who might encounter this brief but intense affliction this summer, wikiHow has an entire page devoted to how to stop brain freeze at http://www.wikihow.com/Stop-Brain-Freeze.

My search also turned up numerous YouTube videos of teenagers and college kids downing Slurpees and other frozen beverages in an attempt to give themselves brain freeze (not sure why you would want to do this), as well as this gem from the comedy “Scrubs”:

Ah, the wonders of the Internet!

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Responses

  1. Neat topic!!! I don’t think I’ve ever had a brain freeze, but have been with people who have had them and it really looks painful……..

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