Shocking Study Finds Nose Picking Could Increase Risk for Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Nose picking is a common habit that many people have. It’s usually done without thinking and is often considered to be gross or unhygienic.

However, nose picking may also be harmful to your health. In addition to causing nosebleeds and infections, nose picking can also lead to Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new study.

According to SciTech Daily,

In new research, Griffith University scientists have demonstrated that a bacteria can travel through the olfactory nerve in the nose and into the brain in mice, where it creates markers that are a tell-tale sign of Alzheimer’s disease.

The study revealed that Chlamydia pneumoniae, a type of bacteria that can cause respiratory tract infections, such as pneumonia, exploited the nerve extending between the nasal cavity and the brain as an invasion path to assault the central nervous system. In response, the cells in the brain began depositing amyloid beta protein which is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. The study was published earlier this year in the journal Scientific Reports.


“We’re the first to show that Chlamydia pneumoniae can go directly up the nose and into the brain where it can set off pathologies that look like Alzheimer’s disease,” Professor St John said. “We saw this happen in a mouse model, and the evidence is potentially scary for humans as well.”

The olfactory nerve in the nose is directly exposed to air and offers a short pathway to the brain, one which bypasses the blood-brain barrier. It’s a route that bacteria and viruses have sniffed out as an easy one into the brain.

This study is a wake-up call for anyone who picks their nose regularly. If you can’t seem to stop picking your nose, it might be time to seek help from a medical professional. In the meantime, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly after each picking session!

Honestly, I would say take it with a grain of salt though because just because that could potentially do the thing that causes Alzheimer’s, it doesn’t mean that it’s enough to cause Alzheimer’s.

Photo Credit: YouTube/The List

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