By Dr. Brian McDonough

By KYW medical editor Dr. Brian McDonough

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — There’s new information in the battle against ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, in the journal Nature and Neuroscience.

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It has to do with a mutation in the TBK 1 gene associated with as many as 10% of cases world-wide. According to the researchers, TBK 1 encodes for a protein involved in inflammation and the clearing of debris in cells.

It interacts with two other genes, OPTN and SQSTM1. All these different genes are involved in the same cellular process, and the theory is that if they can try to attack one, they can attack all of them.

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The genes interact in the clearing of what is called cellular debris in the body. The cellular debris and inflammation that goes along with it can impact cells and muscles in the body, and the neurodegenerative changes that might be related to this.

This is all being done at the genetic level. It will take time, but it’s exciting research.

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You can read the study here.