Researchers at the National University of Ireland in Galway and Harvard Medical School in Boston said the study involved a team of 13 healthy volunteers who deliberately induced the brain freeze so the effects could be studied.
Study co-author Jorge Serrador of Harvard Medical School and the War Related Illness and Injury Study Center of the Veterans Affairs New Jersey Health Care System said the researchers found the pain was brought on by a rapid increase in blood flow through a major blood vessel in the brain -- the anterior cerebral artery, the Daily Telegraph reported. The ache subsided again once blood flow was restricted, the researchers said.
If further research confirms the findings, then ways to control blood flow could offer new treatments for migraines, Serrador said.
The findings were presented at the meeting Experimental Biology in San Diego.