Putting a finger in the nose could have unsuspected consequences according to Australian researchers. According to them, this bad habit could promote the onset of dementia. What do you think of this conclusion? a priori hair-raising?
The link seems far-fetched, but scientists at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia, have arguments to support their hypothesis, which is as follows: picking your nose could cause neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia or Alzheimer’s. ” We are the first to show that Chlamydia pneumoniae can travel directly from the nose to the brain where it can trigger conditions that resemble Alzheimer’s disease. We’ve seen this in mice, and it’s potentially scary for humans too. explains Professor St. John, first author of the article published in Scientific Reportsin a recent press release.
The nose, bacteria and the brain
Chlamidya pneumoniae is a bacterium that infects the respiratory tract, but also has the ability to colonize the brain. Australian scientists have observed that the bacterium reaches the brains of rodents via the trigeminal and olfactory nerves 72 hours after infection. Later, between 2 and 28 days, signs of genetic dysregulation, already observed in Alzheimer’s disease, appear. In the brain, C. pneumoniae can infect and survive in glial cells, cells that support neurons.
Such a mechanism has not been observed to date in humans. ” We need to do this study in humans and confirm if the same pathway works the same way. This is a search that has been proposed by many people, but has not yet been completed. continues Prof. St. John.
The scientist then offers surprising advice to limit the risk of potentially developing symptoms reminiscent of Alzheimer’s: do not put your fingers in your nose to extract boogers or hairs. ” If you damage the lining of your nose, you can increase the number of bacteria that can travel to your brain. “An advice to be taken with a grain of salt in view of the scientific data, which is still too light.