Brain cooling cap as an alternative to antipyretic drugs
Image credit: Msi cooler + Paxman scalp cooling
Darko SavicSep 06, 2021
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Scalp cooling caps are not new. The novelties I propose here are:
The use of such a cap for brain cooling as an alternative to antipyretic drugs
Simplifying the design to make it lightweight, portable, and suitable for home use
To protect the brain from high fever during illness while not reducing the fever's beneficial effects elsewhere in the body. At the same time not damaging one's health with antipyretic drugs.
Fever is one of the body's weapons against pathogens. It is necessary but can cause permanent brain damage. A single episode of high fever may cause short-term neurological and cognitive dysfunction, which may be prolonged or become permanent.
Antipyretic are substances that reduce fever. Some of the more widely used meds for fever reduction are Paracetamol and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Diclofenac, etc. They all come with their own set of side effects - including internal bleeding, liver damage, etc.
The simplified brain cooling cap
The cooling component
Many off-the-shelf computer liquid cooling systems could be used to cool our cap. They look cool and are pretty small. For a totally quiet, fanless variant there are thermoelectric cooling systems that use peltier elements. They need a radiator mounted on hot side of the radiator to dissipate the heat.
No point in reinventing the wheel here. This image shows the bare pipes where the water circulates through the cap:
Pretty much any design could be pulled over it if necessary. But when you're sick at home you might not care what the cap looks like. You might just want to strap it down during sleep or for kids so that they don't yank it off. The straps:
The temperature of the coolant would be kept constant at a comfortable rate to keep the fever manageable. I'm guessing here - the liquid could run at 24 degrees celsius to keep your brain at 38ish celsius or so (measured in the mouth).
Walter EJ, Carraretto M. The neurological and cognitive consequences of hyperthermia. Crit Care. 2016;20(1):199. Published 2016 Jul 14. doi:10.1186/s13054-016-1376-4