According to a new study, enzymes split the outer shell of the proteins, exposing the sticky core. According to Swiss researchers, this finding provides promising therapeutic approaches. In the disease from which the astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, who died in 2018, suffered, these proteins stick together to form so-called fibrils. These can accumulate in the nerve cells and disrupt their normal function. EPFL researchers have now found that these ‘TDP-43 clumps’ do not damage nerves until their sticky core is exposed.