Potentially dangerous reason you should stop picking your nose
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A university professor has explained the potential dangers that can be caused from simply picking your nose, which includes an increased risk of developing a neurological condition in later life.
Now, let's all face it... a lot of us are guilty of it! Going in for a quick rummage around when we think nobody is looking, picking noses can be a bit of a guilty pleasure for some.
But while it may seem to be nothing but a pretty harmless - but gross - habit, it turns out that picking your nose could hold some pretty frightening risks.
This has been outlined by Professor St John, the head of the Clem Jones Centre for Neurobiology and Stem Cell Research at Griffith University in Queensland, Australia.
The professor took to TikTok recently to point out the unknown risks that come with picking your nose, explaining: "Picking your nose or plucking the hairs from your nose is probably not a good idea, particularly if you don't want to get Alzheimer's disease.
"If you damage the lining of the nose, you can increase how many bacteria can go up into your brain."
Professor St John then referenced a paper the university had published earlier this year, which found that this certain bacteria can, indeed, contribute to developing Alzheimer's disease.
Associate Professor Jenny Ekberg and colleagues from the Clem Jones Centre for Neurobiology and Stem Cell Research at Menzies Health Institute Queensland and Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery discovered that the bacterium Chlamydia pneumoniae - not to be confused with the STI - can invade the brain via the nerves of the nasal cavity.
The study shows that once the bacteria are in the central nervous system, the cells of the brain react within days by depositing beta amyloid peptide, the hallmark plaque of Alzheimer’s disease.
After several weeks, the study also found that numerous gene pathways known to be involved in Alzheimer’s disease were dramatically activated.
“These cells are usually important defenders against bacteria, but in this case, they become infected and can help the bacteria to spread,’’ Associate Professor Ekberg said.
“We have suspected for a long time that bacteria, and even viruses, can lead to neuroinflammation and contribute to initiation of Alzheimer’s disease, however, the bacteria alone may not be enough to cause disease in someone.
"Perhaps it requires the combination of a genetic susceptibility plus the bacteria to lead to Alzheimer’s disease in the long term."
Professor St John added in his video: "Once the bacteria get into the olfactory nerve, it's only a short journey - and very quick journey - for them to get up into the brain where they can start causing these pathologies of Alzheimer's disease."
The professor explained how research for the paper he just spoke of takes years of lab work, which involves the team at the university growing their own cells, infecting them with bacteria and then seeing how the cells respond.
Of course, you won't develop Alzheimer's disease overnight from just picking your nose here and there - but it's definitely wise to try and get out of the habit to prevent the increased risk of it developing in later life.