Sunday, August 25, 2013

Blast of ice up the nose eases migraines the category of strange news....There is no data yet on this invention. Its under study. Please do NOT squirt ice, ice cream, Italian ice or other liquids up your nose for migraine.

But, who knows, this is how discoveries are made. Im looking forward to results. JR

P.s. What did one snowman say to the other snowman?   Do you smell carrots?

A device claims to ease migraine headaches and cluster headaches by blasting cold liquid into the nose to cool the brain.

A device that cools the brain by blasting ice cold liquid into the nostrils could be a radical new treatment for migraine.

The gadget, which manufacturers say may also help treat a severe type of headache called cluster headache, comes in the wake of anecdotal reports from some patients that eating ice cream reduces or even cures their headache.

Research shows that migraines and cluster headaches can be triggered when blood vessels in the brain expand. The idea behind the device, which sprays liquid into the nostrils for 20 minutes and is operated by doctors in a clinic, is that it cools these vessels, making them shrink to a normal size.

The liquid flows into an area at the top of the patient's nostrils called the nasal cavity. Directly behind this area are numerous blood vessels that supply the brain. 

The cold liquid cools these blood vessels - this not only makes them contract, but also means they deliver cooler blood to the rest of the brain. This leads to the overall temperature of the brain dropping, and causes blood vessels throughout the brain to constrict back to a normal size.

Migraine affects around 15 per cent of UK adults, and is a severe headache that can be accompanied by visual disturbances or nausea. Cluster headaches, which are excruciating attacks of pain in one side of the head, affect around one person in a thousand.

The battery-powered device, roughly the size of a large handbag, was originally designed to prevent brain damage following heart attack or stroke. Both of these conditions cause brain cells to be deprived of oxygen, which triggers the release of various damaging molecules. 

However, reducing the temperature of the brain is thought to prevent the release of these harmful compounds, although scientists are still unsure how exactly it does this. 

When used to treat heart attack or stroke victims, the device causes a drop of 2.5c in the brain, although it will not trigger such a large drop when used for migraine and cluster headaches.

In a new trial, UK scientists from Penrith Hospital, Cumbria, will use the device on 15 patients who will receive ten treatments each, whenever a migraine strikes, for a maximum of 20 minutes at a time.

The liquid is inserted into the nose through a thin tube - once it hits the warm nasal cavity it evaporates, which helps to further cool the surrounding tissue.

The team decided to investigate the use of this device after noting that ice packs and cold foods seem to ease the painful headaches. 

The patients will be monitored during the treatment and for two hours afterwards to assess headache severity and side-effects. There will be a further follow-up two months after the last treatment. 

Commenting on the device, Dr Andrew Dowson, head of headache services at Kings College Hospital, London and chairman of Migraine Action's medical advisory board, said: 'Patients with migraine often use cold, heat or pressure to the head and neck to manage at least some of their symptoms. This pilot study in is interesting, and if positive will trigger larger trials.'

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