Category: News

Ask the Expert: Cerebral Palsy, Toe-Walking, and Spasticity: How to Help the Whole Child

Why treating the whole child with CP requires understanding the brain
BY CATHERINE MAZZOLA, MD Published: May 6, 2022

Cerebral palsy (CP) is the most common motor disability in childhood, according to Capute and Accardo’s Neurodevelopmental Disabilities in Infancy and Childhood. Babies born prematurely, or with very low birth weight, are at higher risk of developing CP, as compared to normal birth weight babies delivered at term, according to TK.

The term “Cerebral Palsy” has Latin and Greek origins. The word “cerebral” comes from the Latin word for brain.  The word “palsy” comes from the Greek word for paralysis, which literally means “loosen,” from the word paralyein, and its roots para (beside) and lyein (to loosen or untie).  Children with cerebral palsy often have a muscle weakness or abnormality caused by brain injury.

Click here for the complete article –

SAVE THE DATE!! – 11th Annual Gala 2022

SAVE THE DATE!! – 11th Annual Gala 2022
Donating to the event helps in supporting
Kid Around the World!!

Craniofacial differences can have an impact on the emotional and psychological well-being of children around the world. We strive to provide children and their families the care and support they need to overcome these obstacles

Join us for a night filled with fun, great presentations, and your chance to win some great gift baskets, silent auction items or
50/50 raffle!

All donations help to support the NJ Craniofacial Center on their next mission trip!

Buy Tickets or Donate Here –


It’s finally here! SPRNGTIME and good weather, baseball and softball, and more outdoor activities. Please make sure your children are wearing helmets on their bikes, scooters, roller blades, and other rides. If your child has a head injury, remember RICE. Rest, ice the bump or area, compression if there is bleeding, and elevate the head. Please seek an evaluation from a physician if your child has any concerning symptoms like worsening headache, vomiting, slurring of speech, memory issues, blurry vision, or any other neurological problem.

March 2022 Newsletter – National Nutrition Month

March 2022 Newsletter – National Nutrition Month NJPNI NOW HAS A NUTRITIONIST ON STAFF! Headaches & Nutrition. Magnesium is one of those Neurology super-nutrients. Magnesium is great for preventing headaches. It’s also very helpful in treating symptoms of ADHD, tics, and anxiety. Getting more magnesium through nutrition is key!



Click Here to Make an Appointment Today

Headaches & Nutrition
Magnesium is one of those Neurology super-nutrients. Magnesium is great for preventing headaches. It’s also very helpful in treating symptoms of ADHD, tics, and anxiety. Getting more magnesium through nutrition is key!
Here’s what you can do (drink-wise) to help end a migraine. Water, water, water!!!! If you are a tea person, go with ginger or peppermint tea. Ginger ale and coconut water are two other options.
Here are a few heavy-hitters for causing migraines. Eliminating triggers helps to bring down the frequency and intensity of migraines, but it may not completely eliminate them.
Brain Boosting Foods for Kids
Nutrition can be so complex, so we are going to break it down for you! According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, kids need omega-3 fatty acids for brain function and development. Additionally, they suggest that omega-3 fatty acids may help manage psychological and behavioral conditions. It is important for focusing!

Omega-3s are “essential” fatty acids that our bodies need but can’t make on their own. We must rely on our diet to get enough of them.

Here is a list of some delicious, brain-boosting snacks that may positively affect your child’s cognitive processes, emotions, and give them the very best chance to live their happiest lives.

  • Avocado Toast – Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids that improve our cognitive function and lower inflammation. Pair that with whole-grain gluten-free bread, drizzle a little bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper and you have a tasty brain-boosting snack.
  • Tuna Salad with Whole-Grain Gluten-Free Crackers – Tuna is a great option for (healthy) fatty fish. Pair it with some whole-grains for a perfect mid-day snack!
  • Green Smoothie – Smoothies can be a great way to get in some extra fruits and vegetables into our day. Add some nut-butter, avocado, chia or flaxseed for an added omega-3 and vitamin E boost. For our picky eaters, you can try freezing them in popsicle molds for a fun, refreshing twist!
  • Kale Chips – Green, leafy vegetables are loaded with so many wonderful vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E. What better way to eat them than in chip form! Just toss them in some olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste.
  • Apple Slices with Almond Butter (or any nut butter of your liking!) – Apples are rich in many vitamins and minerals, and almond butter, is rich in vitamin E and omega-3’s, which can help slow the release of naturally occurring sugar and prevent a blood sugar spike.
  • Homemade Trail Mix – You can mix and match different dried fruits with nuts and seeds of your choice. Add some cacao nibs for another antioxidant boost.

Lastly, a BIG welcome to our new Neurology Nurse Practitioner, Heather Weiner!

Make an appt with her TODAY!


Properly Treating ADHD Requires a “Whole-Child” Approach

Why treating the whole child requires addressing all his or her problems, not just ADHD.


Published: November 13, 2021

It’s not just your imagination. The diagnosis of ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) has been steadily increasing over recent decades. In New Jersey, nearly 6 percent of children aged 4-17 years old are diagnosed with ADHD. While scientists and epidemiologists work to sort out the causes, many parents are left to deal with the reality: a child with ADHD. For many parents of a child with ADHD, the word “treatment” often triggers an image of a child becoming zombie-like on medication. Parents cannot be blamed for such an intrinsic reaction. Media images of ADHD and treatment of ADHD have been demonstrably biased, providing low-quality and poorly sourced information.

Check out the full article here –

February 2022 Newsletter – Valentine’s Day – Your Brain In Love

Take a selfie with a NJPNI team member to be entered to win a $25 Amazon gift card! Winner will be announced Friday. Click Here to Make an Appointment Today


Take a selfie with a NJPNI team member to be entered to win a $25 Amazon gift card! Winner will be announced Friday. 
Click Here to Make an Appointment Today

Don’t forget to LOVE your brain …

  • Get good sleep! Your brain needs rest to recharge.
  • Good nutrition is key!
  • Play puzzle and word games to keep your brain active.
  • Limit time on video games!
  • Wear a helmet where recommended (biking, skiing, sports, skateboarding)


January 2022 Newsletter – Concussion Awareness: What is a concussion?


January Newsletter








Did you know… during the last five NFL seasons, an average of 247 concussions were reported per year?









Come Visit Our Concussion Center


What is a concussion?




A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head. A concussion can also occur by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. This sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, creating chemical changes in the brain and sometimes stretching and damaging brain cells. This sudden movement is often called whiplash.

Patients who show or report one or more of the signs and symptoms listed below may have a concussion or more serious brain injury.

Read more about our Concussion Center





How do I spot a concussion?




Common symptoms that may be reported by the athlete include:


  • Headache or “pressure” in the head
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Balance problems or dizziness
  • Double or blurry vision
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy or groggy
  • Concentration or memory problems
  • Confusion
  • Not “feeling right”



Signs observed by parents, coaches, trainers or teammates include:

  • Appearing dazed or stunned
  • Can’t recall events PRIOR TO or AFTER a hit or fall
  • Confusion about assignment or position
  • Forgetting plays
  • Uncertainty of the game, score or opponent
  • Moving clumsily
  • Answering questions slowly
  • Losing consciousness
  • Showing behavioral or personality changes





What a concussion specialist will do to evaluate a concussion:




 At NJPNI, our highly specialized concussion providers will evaluate your child with a series of questions to determine what signs/symptoms your child exhibits. We will perform a thorough physical exam as well as an Impact test which is a computerized test that evaluates memory and reaction time which are often slowed with a head injury. Once all data is collected and exams are performed, we will formulate a recovery plan specific to your child’s needs to aid in recovery from the concussion. Each child’s recovery is a unique plan formulated with the provider, parents, child and school nurse.

We offer ImPACT testing





Concussion Management



Once a patient notices any of these signs/symptoms, the patient should immediately institute Brain Rest and Physical Rest as well as make an appointment with a concussion specialist for evaluation.

Brain Rest – limiting all electronic use, minimizing stimulation from light and noise, limit attending school or work as needed.

Physical Rest – no gym, no sports, no activities that increase heart rate.


Concussion or Headache Concerns? Request a Consultation









The Brain Injury Association of America
Think First: National Injury Prevention Foundation

Visit our Sites below:










Nervous About Your Kids and Contact Sports? Follow These Tips

October 20, 2021
Clinical Contributors to this Story
Catherine Mazzola, M.D. contributes to topics such as Pediatric Neurosurgery.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 3.5 million children under the age of 14 receive some type of treatment for sports injuries every year. One of the most serious injuries that can occur in youth sports is a concussion. If unrecognized or untreated, concussion can lead to long-term consequences such as depression or cognitive impairment. Because of this, it’s important for parents and children to understand the symptoms of concussion and take action to prevent it.

Read the full article here –