Nose Picking Could Increase Risk for Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Griffith University researchers have demonstrated that a bacteria can travel through the olfactory nerve in the nose and into the brain in mice, where it creates markers that are a tell-tale sign of Alzheimer’s disease.

Summary: The Chlamydia pneumoniae bacteria can travel directly from olfactory nerve in the nose and into the brain, forcing brain cells to deposit amyloid beta and inducing Alzheimer’s pathologies. Researchers say protecting the lining of the nose by not picking or plucking nasal hairs can help lower Alzheimer’s risks.

The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, showed that Chlamydia pneumoniae used the nerve extending between the nasal cavity and the brain as an invasion path to invade the central nervous system. The cells in the brain then responded by depositing amyloid beta protein which is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.

“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,” Professor St John said. “We saw this happen in a mouse model, and the evidence is potentially scary for humans as well.”

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