Meet the RLS Foundation's Newest Team Member!

March 21, 2024 Meet the RLS Foundation's Newest Team Member! By Adrianna Colucci, RLS Foundation Communications Coordinator An...

March 21, 2024

Meet the RLS Foundation's Newest Team Member!

By Adrianna Colucci, RLS Foundation Communications Coordinator

Anjana Ganesh is a senior at the University of Texas at Austin (UT). She recently joined the RLS Foundation as an intern for the remainder of her senior year. In her free time, she enjoys reading, dancing and taking walks around Austin. The RLS Foundation is excited to have her join the team!

Q. What motivated you to pursue this internship opportunity?

A. I am part of UT’s Bridging Disciplines Program, where we are exposed to interdisciplinary classes. My certificate is called Patients, Practitioners & Cultures of Care. As part of the certificate, we are required to complete an internship, and I was really interested in learning more about the nonprofit side of healthcare. I discovered the Restless Legs Syndrome Foundation in an old blog post by my program. Upon delving into its mission and objectives, I found it to be an ideal fit for me. Not only did it align with my background in neuroscience, but it also presented me with an opportunity to explore a new dimension of healthcare.

Q. What has been the most exciting part of working with a new team?

A. It has been so exciting to work at the RLS Foundation! Each person I interact with has a unique skill set, ideas and perspectives, and everyone is so willing to let me learn. I’ve found that this diversity sparks stimulating discussions, leading to fresh approaches and innovative solutions to challenges. Everyone is so supportive and kind, which creates an incredibly compassionate atmosphere where I feel comfortable sharing ideas and asking questions.

Q. You recently wrote articles for the upcoming Spring 2024 edition of NightWalkers, the Foundation’s quarterly magazine. How has writing for the magazine magnified your understanding of the adversities the RLS community faces?

A. It has been such an incredible learning opportunity to write for NightWalkers. My focus has been exploring the intricate relationship between iron and RLS, a topic that has led me to delve deep into scientific literature and conduct insightful interviews, particularly with experts like James Connor, PhD, MS. Through these interviews and research for my articles, I’ve gained a comprehensive understanding of the scientific underpinnings of RLS, particularly regarding its connection to iron deficiency. By synthesizing information from various studies and expert opinions, I’ve uncovered the complexities of how iron levels impact RLS symptoms and the potential mechanisms at play. In my research, I discovered how hard it is to find easily accessible, accurate and concise information outside of the Foundation materials. Even after finding the materials, some studies are exceedingly complex, so it requires a lot of scientific background to understand what is happening.

Interviewing Dr. Connor has provided invaluable insights into the latest research findings and treatment approaches related to iron deficiency and RLS. This has broadened my understanding of the subject matter and equipped me with the knowledge to effectively communicate these concepts to NightWalkers readers.

Q. What have you learned about RLS and why do you feel it is important to increase awareness of the disease?

A. I’ve noticed how RLS is often misunderstood or misdiagnosed, leading to delays in receiving appropriate treatment. Many individuals with RLS may suffer silently, unaware that their symptoms are indicative of a medical condition that can be managed with proper intervention. Oftentimes, physicians aren’t familiar with RLS, and that’s why resources like the Foundation’s network of RLS Quality Care Centers are so important. I think that raising awareness of RLS is essential to ensure timely diagnosis, enhance support for affected individuals, and promote advancements in research and treatment.

Q. You aspire to have a career in the medical field. How will you employ your newfound knowledge of RLS in the future?

A. As a future healthcare professional interested in pursuing neurology, I hope to integrate my understanding of RLS into my approach to patient care. By recognizing the symptoms and implications of RLS, I can effectively assess and address the needs of individuals affected by this condition. Additionally, this internship has introduced me to the importance of medical advocacy and the need for more funding and research. I hope to contribute to advancements in RLS diagnosis and treatment by advocating for improved access to resources and research funding.

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