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Hebrew U. Student Wins Award for Revolutionary Parkinson’s Detection Test

A doctoral student at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem won an award for developing a test that could revolutionize early detection of Parkinson’s disease in patients, the university announced on Wednesday.

The Kaye Innovation Award was given to Suaad Abd-Elhadi, who developed a diagnostic approach for detecting a specific protein, alpha-synuclein, which is associated with tissues affected by Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinson’s is the second most common neurodegenerative disease in humans after Alzheimer’s disease. It is usually accompanied by symptoms such as tremors and shaking, and can have effects on behavior and cognitive ability.

The test developed by Abd-Elhadi, who is working towards her PhD in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Hebrew University’s medical school, “could lead to earlier detection of Parkinson’s, along with better tracking of the disease’s progression and a patient’s response to therapy,” according to the announcement.

The Kaye Innovation Award was instituted in 1994 by British healthcare giant Isaac Kaye to encourage Hebrew University students and faculty to develop inventions that have commercial potential.

Abd-Elhadi’s research was conducted under the supervision of Dr. Ronit Sharon. Yissum, Hebrew University’s technology transfer company, has signed an agreement for further development and commercialization of the test.

[Photo: Allan Ajifo / YouTube]