Brain inflammation & temperature

Sarah94

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Can someone tell me whether this is scientifically right or wrong. Someone in an ME facebook group was saying that if she applies cold to her head (like wet hair or an ice pack) for a certain amount of time, her cognition improves. She attributes that to the cold reducing brain inflammation. Is that scientifically plausible?

And if so, would that mean that hot weather would result in increased brain inflammation?
 

ljimbo423

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Can someone tell me whether this is scientifically right or wrong. Someone in an ME facebook group was saying that if she applies cold to her head (like wet hair or an ice pack) for a certain amount of time, her cognition improves. She attributes that to the cold reducing brain inflammation. Is that scientifically plausible?
ME/CFS researcher Jarred Younger talked about using ice packs or something similar to help bring down the low grade brain inflammation he found in his study. So that seems like a real possibility.

And if so, would that mean that hot weather would result in increased brain inflammation?
I don't know the answer to this question but am interested to hear one if anybody knows.:)
 

Sarah94

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ME/CFS researcher Jarred Younger talked about using ice packs or something similar to help bring down the low grade brain inflammation he found in his study. So that seems like a real possibility.
I would like to be able to do that, but I think it would make my head too heavy.
 

ljimbo423

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I would like to be able to do that, but I think it would make my head too heavy.
I tried it for 10-15 minutes with a refrigerated gel pack. It seemed like I got some mild improvement, I just felt a little better.

But I couldn't find a good way to keep the pack on my head, without holding it there. Maybe an ace bandage would have worked but I didn't have one. Would laying down help?
 

Wolfcub

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I really don't know if that works or not. It is definitely worth trying !

In my own case, way back -last year, I sensed there was some brain inflammation causing my symptoms. Every morning (I used to wake up feeling horrid) I spent a few minutes washing my face over and over in cold water, thinking it might help.
It didn't make much difference for me but felt nice.
Then, when the heatwaves came -more or less a huge chunk of the summer, I started to get more days when I felt a little better.
I couldn't quite understand that, as a warm bath would make me feel worse !

But during last winter I had many more days when I felt pretty good considering, and went back downhill again in the Spring.
I cannot figure any of it out to be honest.....
 

Richard7

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I have not tried this technique but I do find that my symptoms seem to become much worse when I feel inflammation (warmth and tingling sensations) in my face, head or neck, and have found for me that taking vitamin K2 and unbiquinone and being in ketosis helps.

Given that it is winter here an ice pack would seem a little extreme, I might start by not wearing a beanie and scarf at night.
 

Learner1

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My symptoms become worse in hot weather - dizziness, wanting to drop to the ground in a heap, slugguish movement, and for me, high BP (I have a high BP POTS variant). Seems to be related to my POTS as POTS meds, like a beta blocker and pyridostigmine, neostigmine or Huperzine A help.

So does staying cool, either air conditioning or warm water.
 

edawg81

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I rotate cold packs and wear them 75% of the time due to my feeling of feverishness since my onset. I found a gel pack that is very effective with velcro. This is one of the more effective treaments I have found. I try to stay away from ice packs and use cold packs on my neck and head.
 

Thinktank

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I find my brain fog and feeling of brain inflammation improves with colder tempratures. In the morning i always put my head under a cold shower for a few minutes. That helps.
It's not only my brain but also my neck, like someone hit me with a bat in the neck and that numb feeling radiates to my brain stem.

The warmer it gets, the more feverish i feel and the more that sensation increases like my brain is on fire and will burst out of my skull any time now.

Today is gonna be hot, i hate summertime!

To sum it up, with warm weather my following symptoms increase in severity:
Brain fog
Feeling of brain inflammation and pressure
Sore neck as if i've been hit with a bat
Pressure behind eyes, moving my eyes too much increases the cognitive problems
Bending forward feels like my head is like a watertank.
 
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I really don't know if that works or not. It is definitely worth trying !

In my own case, way back -last year, I sensed there was some brain inflammation causing my symptoms. Every morning (I used to wake up feeling horrid) I spent a few minutes washing my face over and over in cold water, thinking it might help.
It didn't make much difference for me but felt nice.
Then, when the heatwaves came -more or less a huge chunk of the summer, I started to get more days when I felt a little better.
I couldn't quite understand that, as a warm bath would make me feel worse !

But during last winter I had many more days when I felt pretty good considering, and went back downhill again in the Spring.
I cannot figure any of it out to be honest.....
I wake feeling terrible, too. Migraine type headache, neck pain and down spine. I use cool gel packs on head, eyes and neck. Take painkillers if necessary. When pain is under control, I get up slowly. I hadn't thought about whether the cool gel lowered the temperature or cognition improves but I think it's quite possible. I know my brain doesn't feel 'in gear' till I've done all the above.

I used to love the hot weather. Now, not so much but then I don't like being cold either. Can't win.
 

percyval577

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Cold showers do help me for some ten minutes.

Another thing should be that I feel towards midsummer worse (but the worsening stops around the first week in june), and feel better towards midwinter (now especially around begin of november).
This tendency was already noticable when I was a child and was affected only very little.
 

Wally

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Can someone tell me whether this is scientifically right or wrong. Someone in an ME facebook group was saying that if she applies cold to her head (like wet hair or an ice pack) for a certain amount of time, her cognition improves. She attributes that to the cold reducing brain inflammation. Is that scientifically plausible?
And if so, would that mean that hot weather would result in increased brain inflammation?
@Sarah94 -
You might want to review this thread for some additional information related to temperature and brain inflammation - https://forums.phoenixrising.me/thr...y-cold-showers-baths.54730/page-2#post-997288. I posted this reference in that thread - Dr. Cheney’s hydrotherapy protocol for ME,/CFS as provided in Erica Verrillo’s CFS Treatment Guide.

http://www.cfstreatmentguide.com/blog/hydrotherapy-for-mecfs-dr-cheneys-protocol

Here is a transcribed version of Dr. Younger talking about brain inflammation at the OMF’s Stanford Symposium in 2018 at https://www.omf.ngo/wp-content/uplo...unger-How-Brain-Inflammation-Causes-MECFS.pdf and the video posted on Youtube with this talk at

Here is a 2018 interview about Neuroinflammation, Pain and Fatigue on Self-Hacked with Dr. Younger at https://youtu.be/PjEggfixxoM. See, minute marker 41:45 for some info. and ideas of how leptin and certain food items may be connected to brain inflammation.

Here is a December 2018 lecture about brain inflammation by Dr. Younger for Solve MECFS at https://youtu.be/rxdzaWD5wfU
————
[Note - I have experienced remarkable (temporary) improvements in symptoms (both mentally and physically) in 4 specific outdoor locations that seemed to relate to temperature and the amount of moisture in the air.


1) Washington, D.C. when visiting in Dec. 2013 and Jan. 2014 (both when snowing and with just snow on the ground - estimated temperature 15 to 25 degrees F),

2) Colorado (Vail) - Jan. 2016 - snowfall and ambient temperature had more moisture than other years when snow and air seemed drier (estimated temperature 20 degrees F),

3) Maui (Upcountry - higher elevation on the island) - May 2016 - Estimated temperature was about 65 degrees F with intermittent light rain fall in between sunshine.

4) S.F. - March 2017 (cool, breezy day near Union Square - Estimated temperature was about 60 degrees F).

Not sure that my specific location/temperature list will answer any specific questions re brain inflammation, but I thought it might be time to informally capture this information because being at these locations for just short periods of time had such a significant effect on my symptoms that I wanted to bottle up the effect and take it back home with me.

I have tried turning my house into a meat locker with air conditioning, using ice packs, taking cool showers and submerging my body in a swimming pool at different temperatures. While these things can help if I am uncomfortable with both external and internal heat regulation nothing has come close to what I experienced with the locations, time period and weather patterns mentioned above.]
 
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andyguitar

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When the body experiences cold @Sarah94 it causes an increase in the metabolic rate. So feeling better by applying ice packs, taking a cold shower ect might just be because of that and be nothing to do with reducing brain inflammation. I'd say it's unlikley that applying an ice pack to the head would directly reduce heat/inflammation in the brain as I expect that there are mechanisms to keep brain temp within a very narrow range to avoid damage.
 

Ellie_Finesse

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I have a lot of triggers for my Migraines, heat being one of them. Heat also worsens a lot of my ME symptoms, dizziness, vision, sickness, migraines etc. I find an ice pack does help in those times for those symptoms, but whether it helps with inflammation In the brain, I don’t know.

Edit: I guess it’s possible as ice packs help with inflammation in other parts of the body.
 

Wally

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I just saw this article in the highly regarded scientific journal from the UK - “The Daily Mail”. 😁😗

The article discusses the use of products which generate heat or cold to address pain/inflammation in different areas of the body. Here is what one doctor had to say about a product that is marketed to treat/reduce brain pain/inflammation such as experienced with a migraine.

MIGRAINE

Relief? This Lycra cap is fitted with gel packs that have a cooling effect on the head
Migra-cap, £39.99, lloydspharmacy.com
CLAIM: This Lycra cap is fitted with gel packs that have a cooling effect on the head, and covers the eyes to shut out light that may exacerbate a migraine. Store in the fridge and use when you feel a migraine starting.
EXPERT VERDICT: Dr Paul Jarman, a consultant neurologist at the Wellington Hospital and NHS National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, both in London, says: ‘There’s no doubt many people with migraines are sensitive to light. As well as offering relief that way, this cap also cools the head.
‘It works because coldness disrupts pain signals in the trigeminal nerve from the head and face to the brain. This cap may be useful for some people as an additional aid, but won’t be as effective as taking the likes of triptan medication for pain relief.’

6/10
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-7202747/Freeze-Thats-help-migraines-cramp.html
 

Alvin2

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We don't know enough to say either way. My personal opinion is its highly unlikely.
That said its a low risk and low cost thing to try and if it helps you then there is likely little harm in using it.