We’re all nose-pickers at heart! In the shower, in the car, in our sleep, we explore our nose holes and flick the evidence like a magician’s wand, making it disappear. Yes, nose-picking is common, but as of last year, recent studies have found a potential link between the action and Alzheimer’s. The one question on everyone’s mind is, “Is it true?” and the answer is sort of.
Of Pneumoniae and Mice
Last year Griffith University published a study regarding Chlamydia pneumonia, the respiratory pathogen, and its connection to Alzheimer’s. The study broke headlines as outlets flooded the internet with articles about how the disease can lead to Alzheimer’s by picking your nose, but they overlooked a crucial detail. The tests they ran were on mice!
Mice were used as test subjects to bridge the connection between the pathogen and the memory-effecting disease. Researchers took the infection and rubbed it alongside the nasal lining of the mice. The mice infected in this manner experienced issues regulating their behaviors as symptoms of Alzheimer’s started to manifest. Once the tests were complete, they found that the pathogen could lead to Alzheimer’s by the bacteria entering the nasal cavity if the lining of the nose were to be damaged. So this brings us to our question.
Does Picking Your Nose Lead To Alzheimer’s
There is growing evidence that damage to the nasal lining can leave nerves exposed increasing the number of bacteria that could go up to the brain. Without proper human testing speculations, can only be made. According to Griffth University, three in ten adults develop Alzheimer’s, and the chances of it developing increase after the age of 65.
According to Professor James St John, Head of the Clem Jones Centre for Neurobiology and Stem Cell Research, they were the first to undergo this research.
“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,” he said. “We saw this happen in a mouse model, and the evidence is potentially scary for humans as well.”
Researchers also speculate that environmental issues such as allergens and bacteria are a potential factor in the development of the disease which is why these tests were run in the first place.
So, we ask the question again: Does picking your nose lead to Alzheimer’s? Probably. While there is no solid proof yet, we recommend taking caution when exploring your nose for gold. If the temptation arises to pick your nose, use a tissue or saline spray instead of your fingers.