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Dementia: Popping is said to increase the risk of Alzheimer’s

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Dementia: Popping is said to increase the risk of Alzheimer’s

It is still not entirely clear which factors trigger Alzheimer’s disease. It is the most common form of dementia. More than 55 million people worldwide suffer from the degenerative disease. For this reason, there is great research interest; many studies are devoted to the question of how the disease can occur. In addition to protein deposits in the brain, neuroinflammation, i.e. inflammatory reactions triggered by external pathogens, has also recently been suspected.

In a recent study, a team of researchers from Western Sydney University addressed the question of the extent to which such neuroinflammation is linked to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Until now, amyloid deposits were primarily blamed. These protein deposits could also be increased by inflammation in the brain. “There is solid evidence that neuroinflammation is an important contributor to amyloid plaque deposition,” the scientists write.

The nose as a route to inflammation

When asked how such inflammation occurs, the report states: Pathogens such as fungi, viruses or bacteria that enter our brain through our nose are responsible. “The olfactory system provides an anatomical route for pathogens to enter the brain”. Viruses are increasingly found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. In addition, the olfactory bulb is one of the first regions to be affected by Alzheimer’s.

The brain is normally adequately protected against external pathogens by the blood-brain barrier. However, if it is damaged, infections can occur more easily. This is where the popping comes into play. If you constantly pick your nose with your finger, you cause small injuries to the protective barrier. Pathogens that are on the hands and fingers ultimately enter the body. “Death by cuts a thousand,” as the scientists describe it.

“Nose picking is generally not safe.”

An unhealthy habit that is nevertheless widespread. 91 percent of test subjects in a cited study from 1995 stated that they picked their nose regularly. Although it can provide a brief feeling of relief and freedom of breathing, the scientists warn: “Nose picking is generally not safe.” Studies and case histories repeatedly link it to viruses and bacterial inflammation.

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However, research cannot establish a final causality between boogers and Alzheimer’s. What is certain, however, is that there is a connection. Above all, it is difficult to say which came first: infection or Alzheimer’s.

However, it is still advisable to pick your nose less. Instead, the research team recommends cleaning your nose regularly. They recommend gentle methods such as saline or nasal rinses. Of all the “obligatory nose picks,” proper hand hygiene is the best precaution. “If Covid-19 has taught us anything, it is the value of regular hand washing and disinfectant,” said the scientists.

How to prevent Alzheimer’s

If you want to take even more precautions against Alzheimer’s, you should pay attention to the twelve risk factors. We have put together tips to help you with this. These tips are taken from the brochure “Preventing Alzheimer’s – Living Healthily, Aging Healthily”, in which all points are explained in detail. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia.

1. Movement: What’s good for your heart is also good for your brain. This includes getting enough exercise – at least 2.5 hours per week is ideal.

2. Mental Fitness: Learn new things – even as you get older. This keeps your brain busy. Whether it’s a musical instrument, a language or using a computer, try something new.

3. Healthy diet: Follow the classic Mediterranean diet. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables, olive oil and nuts. Choose fish over red meat.

4. Social contacts: Activities are more fun as a couple or in a group and your gray cells are challenged. Arrange to meet up to do sports, play music, play cards or cook together.

5. Reduce excess weight: Be careful not to weigh too many kilos. One healthy Diet and regular exercise will help you with this.

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6. Enough sleep: Make sure you get good, sufficient sleep so that the brain can break down harmful substances and recover.

7. Don’t smoke: Smoking also damages your brain. Stop smoking, it’s never too late.

8. Avoid Head Injuries: Take care of your head in everyday life and during sport and, for example, wear a helmet when riding a bike.

9. Check high blood pressure: Have your blood pressure checked regularly. High blood pressure should definitely be treated.

10. Check Diabetes: Keep an eye on your blood sugar levels. If it is permanently too high, you should take action in consultation with your doctor.

11. Treat Depression: Take good care of yourself. If you feel listless or depressed for a long period of time, it makes sense to see your doctor to clarify the cause. Depression should not go untreated.

12. Pay attention to hearing loss: Take it seriously if you notice that your hearing is getting worse. With a hearing aid you can easily correct declining hearing ability.

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