Nose picking has been called the cause of a dangerous brain disease
Scientists around the world are wrestling with the question of where Alzheimer's disease, which causes deterioration of brain function and cognitive abilities in older people, comes from. And recently, a group of researchers from Griffith University (Australia) has expressed a new, observationally supported hypothesis: the habit of picking one's nose may be involved in the development of the disease.
According to the publication Mirror, scientists have concluded that this may be caused by bacteria entering the nasal cavity with the fingers. They can reach the brain through the olfactory nerve, where they create markers that are "controlling signs of Alzheimer's disease". In particular, Chlamydia pneumoniae bacteria have this ability.
"We are the first to show that Chlamydia pneumoniae can go directly into the nose and into the brain, where it can cause Alzheimer's-like pathologies," said Professor James St. John, head of the Clemm Johns Center for Neurobiology and Stem Cell Research, who co-authored the study. Such a connection has now been discovered in mice. Now scientists must study the mechanism in humans. The authors of the paper point out that these same bacteria also exist in humans, but how they get into the nose is still unclear.
Professor St. John and his team also noted that loss of smell may be an early sign of Alzheimer's disease. It can be seen as an indicator in people over the age of 60. In general, the early signs of this brain disease are as follows:
- memory loss;
- false judgments;
- loss of spontaneity and initiative;
- confusion about dates and one's current disposition;
- increased time spent on daily tasks;
- repetition of questions or forgetting recently learned information;
- problems with using money and paying bills;
- problems with planning and problem solving;
- loss of orientation; occasional wandering;
- misplacing things in odd places or losing them regularly;
- difficulties with bathing and other self-care procedures;
- mood and personality changes;
- increased anxiety and/or anger.
"When you turn 65, your risk factor goes up dramatically, but we look at other causes because it's not just about age, it's about environmental influences," Professor St. John states. He also points out that bacteria and viruses are important when it comes to degenerative brain diseases. "Picking your nose and pulling hairs out of your nose is a bad idea. We don't want to damage the inside of our nose, and picking and plucking can do that. If you damage the nasal mucosa, you can increase the amount of bacteria that can get into your brain," ," the scientist cautioned.
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