Sometimes when stopped at a red light, you might look at the car next to you and see the only occupant digging for gold with their finger up their nose, or maybe you spot a little kid in a yard doing some nose mining. Well it turns out that picking your nose can actually be an extremely dangerous habit.
A study published in the journal Biomolecules has actually found a link between picking one's nose and Alzheimer's disease. According to the researchers behind the groundbreaking article, when a person picks their nose, external pathogens are introduced to the nasal cavity, giving those bacteria, viruses and fungi an easy route to the brain, which increases the odds of developing Alzheimer's.
The scientists explain that nose pickers unknowingly transfer harmful microorganisms from their hand into their nose. Those germs can then travel to the brain, which causes an immune response that leads to inflammation. While inflamed, to help defend the central nervous system, the brain produces immune cells that create amyloid beta proteins that build up and clump together. That harmful clumping of proteins is often seen in many brains of Alzheimer's patients.
Other studies show 91 percent of Americans pick their nose so the Alzheimer's research is important, especially since the disease's exact origins have not yet been confirmed and it affects around 6.7 million Americans aged 65 and older.
The best advice is to always wash your hands, especially if you plan to stick a finger up your nose.