New Supportive Care Clinic at Pacific Neuroscience Institute
by Akanksha Sharma
At Pacific Neuroscience Institute, we believe that your healing and health is an ongoing journey. We have developed a new brain tumor supportive care clinic to help our patients live well. Our goal is to provide an added layer of support for both the patient and their loved ones, with the aim of improving both your quality of life and longevity.
Every other organ in the body can have a potential impact on the brain. To optimize your health, we want to make sure we are addressing all your symptoms and keeping track of all of the systems in your body that could potentially have an impact on your brain health. Treatment for your neurological condition can often have side effects. With appropriate testing and monitoring, we can watch for, and address these health issues.
We may focus on one or more of these areas:
Memory & Thinking
Short term memory loss, concentration problems, and neurocognitive changes are not uncommon with chronic illness. Early identification and management may help ease the journey.
Long term use of some medications as well as natural aging may cause bone density and calcium loss. Risk assessment and monitoring may help determine the right time to address these issues.
Our body’s health and equilibrium are dependent on many factors, including appropriate balance of hormones. Ensuring that your condition and treatment has not resulted in hormonal changes is important. Addressing these deficits can help with energy, metabolism, sleep, weight, and mood.
Taking certain medications can affect how our bone marrow functions long after the medication is stopped. Our clinic will help monitor, risk stratify and develop a plan as necessary.
Pain is complicated and may have multiple causes, ranging from nerve to muscular to bony origin. We will address your discomfort and provide you with a variety of options that can allow you to live a full life.
Dealing with chronic illness and disease is not easy. Providing you with support and the tools to help you cope with change can greatly improve your quality of life.
A chronic illness can change relationships and add stress to the lives of your loved ones also. We are here to provide support and make suggestions to ease the journey.
Your Care Team
Each member of your care team is focused and dedicated to your wellbeing. We’ve created a better model that fosters collaborative neuroscience care under one roof. Our world-renowned neurosurgeons, neurologists, and specialists work side-by-side on your behalf to reach a diagnosis and optimal treatment and care plan, making PNI is a patient-centric place you can believe in.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Is this clinic for me?
A. This clinic is intended to address overall wellbeing, side effects and health issues that can arise during and from treatment. Our routine clinic appointments may not often be long enough to provide the comprehensive care needed. This clinic complements your routine clinic appointments. The hope is to elevate your health so your quality of life and health are at optimum levels throughout your journey.
Q. What is a visit like?
A. This is an individual appointment with the provider where we encourage you to discuss all concerns related to your well being, health, how you’re tolerating treatment, and how the condition is impacting your life and relationships. We may dig deeper into some of these areas and make suggestions. We encourage you to bring notes with your main concerns. You are also welcome and encouraged to bring a loved one with you.
Q. Is this covered by my insurance?
A. Most insurances will cover this service and we will make sure it is covered prior to your arrival.
Q. How often are the appointments?
A. We recommend checking in every 3 months at first, then reducing to twice yearly. However, the provider will determine if more frequent appointments are needed depending on your symptoms and needs.
Q. Who will I be seeing at my appointment?
A. Our team consists of our administrative assistant, medical assistant, and usually our nurse, overseen by a physician and/or advanced practice provider. Our primary physician, Dr. Sharma, is board certified in palliative medicine.
Q. Can these visits be done virtually?
A. Yes, if appropriate, a virtual visit via Zoom may be done and billed to your insurance in the same way as an in-person visit.
For more information or additional questions: 310-829-8722
PNI-Santa Monica, Providence Saint John’s Health Center,
2121 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90404
About the Author
Akanksha Sharma, MD, is board certified in neurology, neuro-oncology and palliative medicine. She is experienced in the treatment of primary/metastatic brain tumors, neurological complications of cancer, and disease-related burden and symptoms. Her clinical and research interests lie in helping patients maximize their time and quality of life. She aims to align treatment with patient goals and to provide holistic care that includes careful symptom assessment and management, as well as support for the patient’s loved ones.
Last updated: July 2nd, 2021