About us

Our project aims to broaden our understanding of the experience of recently diagnosed PD patients. We aim to delve deeper into the etiology of the main stressors affecting recently diagnosed Ppatients. One of these main stressors that we have identified through conducting several discussions with key stakeholders is the prognostic uncertainties associated with the recent diagnosis of the disease. 


Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a movement disorder that affects the nervous system. Its symptoms occur due to low dopamine levels in the brain. Symptoms tend to worsen over time, but the disease progression can vary among patients. Thus, the unexpected nature of PD is associated with a decline in mental health. Such disease uncertainties raise questions of what the future may hold for these patients in terms of disease diagnosis, prognosis, treatment outcome, functional decline, and how it may adversely affect their career. Thus, patients become apprehensive and anxious about the future. We found three gaps and problems in our in-depth search for the root cause of heightened psychological stress of recently diagnosed PD patients. The problems are diagnostic uncertainties of the disease, prognostic uncertainties, and uncertainty of treatment outcomes. The next problem is prognostic uncertainties related to the uncertainty these patients may have regarding the accumulative damage their unique disease progression may yield – whether that damage be personal, professional, or social difficulties. Among these problems, we chose to focus on prognostic uncertainties as our main problem to the possibility of further exploration of this problem, possible interventions, and resulting tangible outcomes.

Team members

Yasmin Aboelzahab

Dr. Yasmin Aboelzahab

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Yomna Elsheikh Ahmed

Yomna Elsheikh Ahmed

Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland - Bahrain

My education ranges from Texas to the Middle East. I graduated from the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland – Bahrain with an Irish Medical Degree and completed my internship in King Hamad University Hospital Bahrain and rotated through various Pediatric specialties including General pediatrics, Metabolic Diseases, Pediatric Intensive Care, Neonatal Intensive Care, and Rehabilitation Services. I pursued my career as a pediatrician, and later on became a pediatric clinical tutor at my alma mater teaching neonatal medicine to undergraduate medical students, spending more time in our NICU, I became greatly interested in this branch of pediatric medicine.

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Azadeh Bojmehrani

Azadeh Bojmehrani

Clinical Research Manager, Clinical Trial Manager

11 years national and international experiences serving diverse population; broad-based background and skills in the areas of Bio-Electronics, Health Informatics and Clinical Engineering, Clinical, Pre-clinical and Experimental (Translational) Medicine. Involved in multiple projects in different therapeutic units: Respiratory and Pulmonary diseases, neuromuscular diseases (DMD), oncology, CVS, Diabetes Pharma industry experiences. Experienced as a mentor, supervisor, manager

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Project Advisory Committee

Heather Beim

Employer Liaison to provide service to new Canadians

Heather Beim has a Bachelor's degree in Sociology. For most of her career worked in Human Resources as a Manager. Also, She worked as an Entrepreneur for a period of time making Cake Pops for catering events and private parties (even made cake pops for Mirvish Productions that were sold at the concession for Lion King.) Currently, working as an Employer Liaison to provide New Canadians with practical job search information and skills as well as connections to employers in their area of specialty.

Connie Marras

Prof. Connie Marras

Faculty Member, University of Toronto

Connie Marras MD, PhD is a Professor of Neurology at the University of Toronto and movement disorders neurologist at the University Health Network, Toronto, Canada. She also holds the position of Vice-Chair of the research ethics board of the University Health Network. From 2010-2018 she served as Associate Editor of the Movement Disorders Journal. She has also served on or serves on the Scientific Advisory Board foundations dedicated to Parkinson’s Research including the Michael J Fox Foundation (MJFF) and the Parkinson’s Foundation (US).

Prof. Heather Boon

Vice-Provost, Faculty & Academic Life, University of Toronto

Professor Heather Boon was Dean of the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, holding cross-appointments with the Temerty Faculty of Medicine’s Department of Family & Community Medicine and the Dalla Lana School of Public Health’s Institute of Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation. Her research focuses on the safety and efficacy of natural health products, and related regulatory and policy issues. She has published more than 130 peer-reviewed articles and numerous book chapters, policy reports, and textbooks. Professor Boon has held key administrative roles at U of T and in a variety of national and international associations. She also served as Chair of the Council of Health Sciences.

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