Did you know that picking your nose could have serious consequences for your brain health? Recent research from Western Sydney University has revealed a strong link between chronic nose-picking, medically known as rhinotillexomania, and the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
The study suggests that the act of constantly digging for gold in our noses introduces harmful germs into the nasal cavity. These germs can then travel to the brain, leading to inflammation and the accumulation of amyloid beta proteins, a key characteristic of Alzheimer’s.
While scientists are still uncertain about what exactly causes Alzheimer’s, they have observed an association between excessive immune responses and the build-up of tau proteins in patients’ brains. This indicates that inflammation caused by frequent invasions from pathogens, like those introduced through nose-picking, may contribute to the disease.
To reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and other related diseases, it is crucial to practice good hand hygiene. By washing our hands regularly and using sanitizers, we can prevent unintentionally exposing our olfactory system and brain to harmful inflammation-causing agents.
This research highlights the importance of taking preventive measures against chronic nose-picking. Just as we have learned during the Covid-19 pandemic about the value of hand hygiene, incorporating routine hygienic procedures can help protect our brain health.
So for those who find themselves habitually picking their noses, maybe it’s time to quit and prioritise regular handwashing instead.