Could naked mole rats hold key to curing cancer and dementia?

Could naked mole rats hold key to curing cancer and dementia?
Scientists say naked mole rats -- a rodent native to West Africa -- may hold the key to new treatments for degenerative diseases such as cancer and dementia.


The reclusive animals have a lifespan far in excess of other rodents -- for example, mice and rats live about two years, whereas naked mole rats can live for 40 or 50 years.

Researchers at the University of Bradford say the animals have a unique DNA repair mechanism that enables them to prevent cancers and other degenerative conditions, including dementia.

Cancer resistant

Professor Sherif El-Khamisy, Director of the Institute of Cancer Therapeutics at the University, said: "Naked mole rats are fascinating creatures, not least because they are so long lived compared to other rodents of the same size. They also do not suffer from -- what we call in humans -- age associated disorders, such as cancer, dementia and neurological decline.

"What we re trying to do is to understand what makes them so resistant and then to try to harness that knowledge to come up with new treatments for cancer and conditions like dementia in people.
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