ABCD学院 メールマガジン 2017年5月号

Business: English Skills


If it hasn't happened to you, count yourself as lucky. For many people,
eating ice cream or drinking an icy drink too fast can produce a really
painful headache. It usually hits in the front of the brain, behind the
The technical name for this phenomenon is cold-stimulus headache, but
people also refer to it as "ice cream headache" or "brain freeze."
The good news is that brain freeze is easy to prevent - just eat more
slowly. The other bit of good news is these headaches don't last very
long - a minute at the outside.

Jorge Serrador studies brain freeze headaches, not just because he
wants to make the world a safer place for ice cream eaters, but also
for what they can tell him about how and why the headaches occur (1).
He's hoping that will lead to better ways to treat or prevent them.
It turns out it's hard to study headaches, and a brain freeze headache
is one of the few types that can be conjured up on demand (2).
Serrador says no one really knows yet what causes them. But there are
some theories. For example, Serrador has shown that just before the
brain freeze hits, there's an increase in blood flow to the front of
the brain.
"That's increasing the volume and therefore increasing the localized
pressure in that area," he says. The brain may be interpreting that
increased pressure as pain.
"Another theory that's been put out there is that the cold actually
stimulates a nerve in the roof of the mouth," says Serrador. That
stimulated nerve in the mouth goes into overdrive. It sends off a
barrage of signals to the brain that once again the brain interprets as

Harvard Medical School headache researcher Elizabeth Loder says it's
not all that surprising to think scientists may learn something
important from studying ice cream headaches.
"Some of these things that people think of as silly or whimsical, they'
re actually really fascinating," says Loder, who is also president of
the American Headache Society.

This article is part of Joe's Big Idea, an NPR project to explore how
innovations come about.
(From NPR SCIENCE, July 3, 2012, When Ice Cream Attacks: The Mystery Of
Brain Freeze,

Forehead 額(ひたい)、前額部
Stimulus 刺激、激励するもの
Conjure 祈願する、おりいって頼む
Theory 理論、学説、意見
Overdrive 高頻度駆動、過度な活動
Barrage 連続、集中
Whimsical 変な、妙な

Count…as… (…を)(…と)思われる、みなされる
例:This doesn't count as a strike against you.
I count her as one of my best friends.
Refer to…as… ~を…と呼ぶ
例:Christians refer to the mother of Jesus as the Virgin Mary.
As he was considered an indirect descendant, he did not refer to
himself as being from 'the Matsudono family.
(All explanations and examples are cited from

(1)     Jorge Serrador「ブレーン・フリーズ」による頭痛を研究するのは、アイス
…for what…: for the reason that
(2)     (研究者にとって)頭痛を研究することは難しいが、「ブレーン・フリーズ
…be conjured up on demand: be triggered/controlled on purpose