Researchers Find a Link between Nose-Picking and Dementia

By: | October 30th, 2022

Image by Wikimedia

Nose picking, while annoying and unsanitary, can cause bacteria to spread. Our fingers contain many harmful germs, which are transmitted into the nostrils while digging into the nose.

Now, researchers from Griffith University have found a potential link between picking your nose or plucking nose hairs and dementia.

Researchers have already proven that the Chlamydia pneumoniae bacteria that are linked to late-onset dementia can enter the central nervous systems of mice through the olfactory nerves of their noses.

Now, they are trying to find out if the bacteria linked to dementia gets into human brains through the nose, just like it does in mice.

Picking your nose or plucking the hairs from your nose is not a good idea!

During the study, researchers noticed that the olfactory nerve in the nose is directly exposed to air. It offers a short pathway to the brain. It is the one which bypasses the blood-brain barrier. Viruses and bacteria use it as a direct route to enter the brain.

Professor James St John, Head of the Clem Jones Center for Neurobiology and Stem Cell Research and the co-author of the research said, “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.”

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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