Nose picking can be fatal because it has been linked to cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease
Nose digging is a strange habit to get into. When stressed or bored, some people relieve their stress by picking their nose. Researchers have found that this behaviour may put you at greater risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. The olfactory nerve in the nose provides a possible entry point for a bacterium that can cause Alzheimer’s disease in mice, as demonstrated by researchers at Griffith University in Australia.
The majority of human brains with late-onset dementia contain the bacteria Chlamydia pneumonia, which may infect individuals and cause pneumonia, according to a study published in the journal Scientific Reports.
Studies show that it reached the brain via a nerve that connects the nose to the brain. In response, the brain’s cells deposited the amyloid beta protein, a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.
These experiments were conducted on mice. “We saw this happen in a mouse model, and the evidence is potentially scary for humans as well,” said Professor James St. John, head of the Clem Jones Centre for Neurobiology and Stem Cell Research, in a press statement.
The study also highlights the olfactory nerve’s proximity to the air and how it connects to the brain. The brain’s blood vessels are a favourable entry point for germs and viruses. They said that the purpose of their future studies will be to prove that the same process operates in human beings.
Professor St. John claims that many people have proposed this research, but it has not yet been completed. “We need to do this study in humans and confirm whether the same pathway operates in the same way. It’s research that has been proposed by many people, but not yet completed.”
He cautioned against picking one’s nose or shaving off one’s nose hairs.
The professor went on to add that there is an increased risk of bacteria entering the brain if the nasal lining is injured.