Advanced Neuro Science Institute's commitment has never been limited to treating only wealthy patients. Over the years, we have developed a clear road to realize our vision of taking our success to those sections of society who are deprived of treatment due to financial constraints. Basal Ganglia Society and Dhanvantri Medical Relief Fund are just two of the initiatives which ANSI has started with this objective.
Basal Ganglia Society (BGS), which was formed on August 12th 2009 is a unique support group for patients with Parkinson's Disease or other Movement Disorders with a subsidized medication program at the Hospital premises. The aim of BGS is to provide comprehensive care by creating a platform for the patients, their families, caregivers etc and ensuring seamless continuity of care and also collectively support each other. Through this novel social service initiative we are providing medicines at a subsidized cost which helps them to reduce their financial burden. Twenty five per cent concession is being given to all anti Parkinson drugs with the support of Pharmaceutical companies. Free home delivery of drugs is also provided every month to those who cannot come to the hospital regularly,
The Society plans to have many more useful activities not only in Bangalore but also in rest of the State. The Society will also focus on a host of supportive aspects like Speech Therapy, Physiotherapy, Gait Therapy, Diet Management, Psychological Counseling and Rehabilitation through meetings once in three months. Lectures, Group Discussions and Updates on all developments will form an essential part of these meetings.
My name is Radhamani R. Bindganavale (Radha, in short), and I am the Director of a Parkinson Disease (“PD”) Support group called Basal Ganglia Support Group located in Bangalore, India. I am also the Chief Coordinator at the Department of Neuro Sciences at BGS Global Hospital, Bangalore.
I was not aware of Parkinson Disease until my husband was afflicted with the same in 1996. It actually took almost a year for several experts in India to confirm his symptoms to be that of PD and thereby start the treatment. After reaching out to others with similar symptoms and diagnosis, my husband and I got together with a few other people and started a non-profit organization in Bangalore called Parkinson Disease Society of Karnataka.
For the first two years after starting treatment, my husband responded very well to the medication and at times felt ten years younger. However, during the next two years, his system did not respond to even larger dosages of the medication. His symptoms rapidly worsened to the extent that he could barely communicate, move or eat by himself. However, his mind was as alert as usual and he diligently captured his daily activities and events in a diary that give a glimpse of the extent of depression PD patients typically go through.
During the first two years of his treatment, my husband and I visited the US twice. During our visits I arranged meetings for us to meet the Research and Clinical specialists at the National Parkinson Foundation of New York & Florida, Support Group of Michigan & other places to interact and understand the disease and medical treatment options.
In May 2000, my husband passed away after suffering from the disease for five years. He was particular that his brain be donated to research after death, as the medical awareness about Parkinson Disease was so preliminary in India at that time. We therefore donated his brain at the Brain Bank in the National Institute of Mental Health for Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) at Bangalore, India. His brain is being used to this day in research studies.
After my husband’s death, I moved to the US to live with my children and brothers. During the first year of my stay, I visited about 16 cities all over the US to address people in social gatherings about my personal experiences and insights on the disease, the awareness and mobilization of support services to help patients and families in India and our association’s fund raising drive to help finance free patient medication, mobility needs, etc. I was very passionate about making a difference and ran the grass-root fund raising activities resulting in enough donations to support 13 economically deserving patients with free monthly medication for life. The American Kannada Koota association also allotted a free space for me in their World Kannada Conference at Detroit, where I was able to interact and talk to people about the Parkinson Disease. In 2001, I worked as a volunteer at the Emerson Hospital in Boston for a year. My role was to provide counseling for Parkinson Disease patients and families.
I went back to India in 2007, and started a Parkinson Disease Support Group in the Southern part of Bangalore. My aim was to create a support structure for PD patients and families to not only interact with each other, but also to participate in specialized therapy sessions and medical discussions. The support group has risen to a total enrollment of over 140 patients in the last three years. The PD Support Group has recently joined forces with the BGS Global Hospital in Bangalore, to form a non-profit support organization called “Basal Ganglia Support Group”.
The support group meets on the third Sunday of every month. We have specialized yoga, physical and speech therapy sessions in each meeting. We also invite an occupational therapist, psychiatrist and Neurologist / Neurosurgeon to some of these sessions to help facilitate discussions around research, medication and treatments. All these programs have benefited PD patients and their families / care givers. An average of 70 patients with caregivers attend the meeting every month.
As the Chief Coordinator at the Department of Neuro Sciences at BGS Global Hospital, I help facilitate a movement disorder clinic every Friday for PD patients. In these clinics we offer patients access to all the facilities under one roof, including the availability of Neurosurgeons that are well experienced in Stem Cell therapy, DBS, etc. If you need more details pertaining to this clinic or to the hospital, please feel free to reach me for the same.
The BGS Global Hospital has also launched subsidized medication program for the past two years. In this program, more than 150 PD patients from all over South India receive medications at deeply discounted rates (25%) due to our affiliation with Sun Pharmacy. This program has been a great success among patients due to the fact that most patients pay for the medication out of their pockets as they are not eligible for any medical insurance coverage. The discounted medication program would not have been possible without the commitment and generous support of Dr. Venkataramana, Vice Chairman, Neurosurgeon of BGS Hospital.
The Basal Ganglia Support Group at BGS Global Hospital also organizes a free camp on the World Parkinson Disease Day (April 11) every year at the hospital. On that day, more than 100 PD patients attend the camp. We arrange for all the logistics including the transportation of the PD patients from and to their homes via the Hospital buses, lunch and snacks for the patients and their caregivers, etc. The agenda on this day includes two sessions from medical experts, free consultation for PD patients, and interaction with patients and caregivers.
It has been a pleasure to meet and interact with all of you. If you need to reach me, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
'Dhanvantri Medical Relief Fund
is a socially conscious Trust which aims at providing free treatment for the poor patients. The Trust channelizes resources and medical support to the aid of these patients.
Under this scheme the Hospital waives off the hospitalization charges while the Doctors provide free professional service to the poor patients. Only consumables and drugs used during the surgery and hospital stay need to be supported. The conditions that are frequently treated are:
- Pediatric Brain Tumors
- Congenital Anomalies of Brain and Spinal Cord
- Acute and Chronic Renal Failure
- Congenital Heart Diseases
- Road Traffic Accidents