A recent study has linked nose-picking to an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease.
The study suggests that habitual and aggressive nose-picking could damage internal tissues, making it easier for certain bacteria to enter the brain and cause symptoms similar to Alzheimer's. Although occasional and gentle nose-picking may not yield harm, chronic inflammation and injury to the nasal lining caused by habitual and aggressive nose-picking can cause chronic inflammation in the nasal cavity and trigger an inflammatory response in the hippocampus, a region critical for memory and learning.
Dr. Madhukar Bhardwaj, Senior Consultant & HOD, Neurology, Aakash Healthcare, New Delhi, explains that "Alzheimer's disease, a progressive neurodegenerative disorder, remains a major problem in the elderly population. Although genetics and age have been long-established risk factors for Alzheimer's, recent investigation has unveiled a surprising link between apparently harmless habits, like nose-picking, and an augmented risk of acquiring this debilitating condition."
Apart from nose-picking, several other habits can impact brain health and increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease, including poor sleep, a sedentary lifestyle, an unhealthy diet, chronic stress, and social isolation.
Practicing gentle and infrequent nose-blowing rather than aggressive nose-picking, getting adequate sleep, engaging in regular physical exercise, maintaining a healthy diet, managing stress effectively, and staying socially active are all necessary steps toward promoting brain health and reducing the risk of Alzheimer's disease. Experts advise staying vigilant regarding the onset of any new symptoms, such as memory loss, forgetfulness, and behavioral changes like confusion and irritability.
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