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Toxic protein ‘variant’ may be the next target for ALS therapies

Scientists have long known that proteins can form harmful clusters in neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). But a new study by Penn State researchers shows that “variant” complexes of a protein implicated in ALS pathology form in separate pathways, a discovery which may make it easier for drug developers to design therapies to target the more harmful variant.