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Nose picking may be one of the contributing factors of progressive dementia, study says

Did you know that picking your nose might spread infection-causing bacteria that over time could increase a person’s risk of developing progressive dementia? Well, at least according to a study.

According to an analysis of numerous published research on the processes behind neurological disorders, there is compelling evidence that those who pick their noses a lot are more likely to get Alzheimer’s disease.

In a report, progressive dementia, which is a symptom of Alzheimer’s disease, may be brought on by a protein known as beta-amyloid. Furthermore, according to research published in the peer-reviewed journal Biomolecules, the brain may create beta-amyloid as a defense mechanism against viruses that enter through the nasal canal, for example, by sticking a finger inside one’s nose.

Based on the report, there is a correlation between Alzheimer’s disease and infections caused by viruses, fungi, and bacteria. These pathogens can create chronic, latent, or persistent infections in peripheral tissues, such as the nasal epithelium, where they can linger for a long time without showing symptoms until they cause damage to the brain.


Consequently, the authors of the study hypothesized that the pathogens entering the brain through the olfactory system might be partially responsible for neuroinflammation.

“The olfactory system represents a plausible route for pathogen entry, given its direct anatomical connection to the brain and its involvement in the early stages of AD,” the report further stated.

In an estimation, the illness affects 6.5 million Americans who are 65 years of age or older; about 70% of these patients are 75 years of age or older. They noted that dementia in the progressive brain condition is the most prevalent type.

The study makes no indication that nose picking is the only or main cause of Alzheimer’s disease or that giving up the behavior will stop it from happening. However, it cannot harm to quit, or if that proves to be too difficult, the research advises that you at least wash your hands often.

Nevertheless, keep in mind that proper nasal hygiene, which includes frequent hand washing and the use of hand sanitizers, is one of the lessons we gained from the long-running pandemic. Thus, these hygienic practices must be made necessary, not only for those who are incurably nose-pickers but for all of us as well.

Always remember, prevention is better than cure.


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