Strange Headache Disorders : this is a list of unusual or rare headache conditions.
Some of these have only ever been reported as single cases.
Additional detail is provided in the links.
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Links with an asterisk* have tables of references obtained using Systematic review methods.
As every child knows, an ice-cream (or any other cold stimulus) to the hard part of the roof of the mouth can provoke an intense strange headache.
Studies of volunteers who had ice cubes held against their hard palate experienced intense pain within about 12 seconds, and the pain lasted for about 21 seconds on average.
The pain can be sharp, throbbing or can even develop into a proper migraine headache. The pain is commonly over the temple (>50% in one report).
People with a history of migraine seem much more likely to experience an episode of cold stimulus headache.
Alternatively, some have suggested that if you warm up the hard palate before you eat an ice-cream e.g. place your (washed) hand / thumb on the hard palate you be able to reduce the intensity of the cold-stimulus and avoid the headache.
Burning Tongue Syndrome
CACNA1A related fatal cerebral oedema and coma
Chinese Food Headache
High altitude headache
Hot Dog Headache
Sleep apnoea headache
Sleep Deprivation Headache
Space Travel Headache
Third Occipital Headache
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If there are no references listed, please notify me, as this box should contain a list of information sources, or a link to a 'Systematic Review' of the topic discussed on this page.
Reference: Ice cream headache. No need for abstinence. BMJ 1997;314:1364.
Evans RW. Headaches and Haemodialysis. Headache 2009;49:463-466.
Jacome DE. Dracula’s Teeth Syndrome. Headache 2001;41:892-894
Montalbetti L et al. Elongated styloid process and Eagle's syndrome. Cephalalgia 1995;15:80-93.