Category Archives: Traumatic brain injury

New Jersey Functional Neurology Center with Dr Scopelliti

Brain Based Neurology

Brain Based Neurology

Treatment For Patients Suffering With Vertigo, Dizziness, Imbalance, Dystonia, Traumatic Brain Injury/Concussion, (TBI), ADD ADHD and other Neurologic and Neurobehavioral Disorders

Vertigo, although most commonly associated with inner ear disorders, has several causes including both vestibular, (inner ear), as well as central, (brain based).  Dizziness and dysequilibrium, (imbalance), are often seen as secondary effects of vertigo as well, associated with subtle changes in the brain, which we see in those afflicted with vertigo and dizziness.  Relief of vertigo symptoms depends on determining and eliminating the cause. Vertigo, dizziness and imbalance may be caused by a more serious condition that many health care providers can miss since they don’t treat neurologic and/or vestibular conditions on a day-to-day basis.  In the past, the standard medical treatment for symptoms of dizziness was the prescription of certain vestibular suppressant medications, such as Meclizine.  In the last ten years, the understanding of brain function has exploded.  The nineties have been referred to as “The Decade of the Brain.”  Brain based understanding as well as understanding of vestibular dysfunction, (vertigo and dizziness, presyncope, etc), has yielded extensive new therapies and treatments for resultant conditions, such as vertigo and dizziness, dystonia, as well as a multitude of behavioral disorders, such as attention deficit disorder, (ADD ADHD), dyslexia, etc.  It is now known that brain/vestibular dysfunction is is also intimately related to many conditions, including learning disabilities such as ADD ADHD, phobias, panic attacks and anxiety, scoliosis, movement disorders, including dystonia, Parkinson’s, Mild Cognitive Impairment, essential tremors, etc., and brain injury, (TBI, MTBI), as well as vertigo symptoms and symptoms of dizziness, disequilibrium and other disorders of imbalance, which predispose increased and premature fall risk associated with imbalance.

The resultant development of new protocols in diagnosis and treatment primarily of brain based disorders, such as vertigo and dizziness, dystonia, etc., continue to be developed today, and many focus on accepted understanding of central control mechanisms of the brain involved in movement, balance, and postural stability.  Our unique approach to treatment incorporates functional integrative neurological and neurodevelopmental rehabilitation. Dr. Scopelliti credits his success with these more exotic neurologic and neuro-otologic conditions to his in-depth diagnosis and conservative treatment protocols which diagnose the true cause of the patient’s symptoms, (like vertigo and dizziness), then treat properly to provide as much long term relief as possible.  Our brain based treatments provide brain fitness peak performance by exploiting concepts of neuroplasticity which were concluded to be possible in the 90’s.  Neuroplasticity is a concept of neuronal regrowth and replication, which for centuries has been thought to be impossible.  We now know that it is not only possible, but that it is in fact how the brain works.

Monmouth Functional Neurology Center Video

Functional Neurology on ABC News

This recent ABC News piece examines the myriad of successes which patients have found through FunctionalNeurology.

Hope Restored –  What is Functional Neurology

Out of State Patients

Because of the high level of specialization and success of our practice, we routinely see patients from out of town and from out of state suffering with untreated complex brain based disorders such as vertigo, dizziness, dysequilibrium, dystonia and traumatic brain injury, (TBI).  If you are coming to see us from out of state, you can find a local hotel to make arrangements at by keying in the phrase “hotels in Long Branch NJ” into Google map search box, or, your favorite mapping application.  You can find the local map of our office on our Directions page.  This will bring up several local hotels and their contact information.  We typically advocate spending the week as you will be seeing the doctor daily.  Please call our office for any assistance which you may need regarding a hotel stay or transportation.

The following are representative of the types of conditions for which we routinely see patients in our office:

“Learn To Live With it” or, “Your Problem Is In Your Head” Patients

This is the vast majority of our practice, comprised of patients who have been to specialist after specialist, had lots of tests, are not getting better, and are told simply to “Learn To Live With it”  or, “Your Problem Is In Your Head”.

Imbalance And Balance Disorders

Vertigo and Dizziness, Pre-syncope, Balance Loss or Dysequilibrium, Fall Risk.

Dystonia And Movement Disorders

Dystonia, Torticollis, Ballismus, Tremors, Parkinson’s.

Traumatic Brain Injury

Mild Traumatic Brain Injury, (MTBI), Post Concussive Syndrome, Seizure Disorder, any Closed Head Injury, Motor Vehicle Accident Injuries and other Accident Injuries.


Migraine & Sick Headaches, Tension Headache, Post Traumatic Cephalgia, Cluster Headaches, Head & Face Pain, Vestibular Migraines.

Behavior Disorders Of Development, ADD ADHD

Child Neurobehavioral Disorders, Neurological Developmental Delay,  Tourette’s & Motor Tics, Learning, and Behavioral Disorders: ADD  ADHD, Autism, Asperger’s, Tourette’s, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder; OCD,  Child Coordination Disorders, Child Postural Disorders including Scoliosis, Ocular Palsies such as Lazy Eye, etc.

Most Brain Based Disorders

Stroke, (CVA), Tinnitus, Panic disorder, Vasovagal Presyncope, Seizure Disorder, Pain, Pain Syndromes, Nerve Entrapment Syndromes of Arm & Legs, Sensory Processing Disorders, Communicative Disorders, Cerebral Palsy, Seizures, Enuresis, etc.


Neck pain, mid and lower back pain, complicated with arm and/or leg pain, or, uncomplicated.

Patients Not Responding To A Care Plan

Patients who have been treating for one to two weeks and are not improving or are worsening.

Independent Evaluations Regarding Appropriateness Of Care

Patients who have been inadvertently cut off from care either by peer review or IME, which appears to be biased and not representative of the patients actual status.

Other Scenarios Such As Athletic Enhancement In Timing And Coordination

Our office is a fully established balance center focusing largely in the primary treatment of patients with vertigo, dizziness, dysequilibrium, (imbalance & fall risk), dystonia and ADD ADHD.

Use the navigation links on the right to seek out relevant content for vertigo and dizziness, dysequilibrium, imbalance and fall risk, dystonia, MTBI, headaches, and ADD ADHD.

Dr. Scopelliti is a Functional Neurologist in Monmouth County NJ.



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Traumatic Brain Injury and Concussion by Dr A.R. Scopelliti



TBI/traumatic brain injury

Concussion, or traumatic brain injury is common among contact sports participants. Concussion has been defined as a condition in which there is a traumatically induced alteration in mental status, with or without an associated loss of consciousness. In reviewing the scope of symptoms of actual concussion patients, further specificity can be discussed. Dizziness or vertigo is an erroneous perception of self motion or perception of environmental motion and of gravitational orientation. Most patients who have suffered a concussion experience this phenomena of symptomatology. Typically this perception is created through a mismatch between the vestibular, visual and proprioceptive, (sensation of the earth under your feet), systems. Because of the overlap of these systems, they each tend to compensate for deficiencies of the others by design. This is why when the lights suddenly go out, or you suddenly step onto a soft spongy surface such as wet sod from a hard surface such as concrete, the normal brain can quickly compensate by changing between these three systems to prevent falling. TBI does not produce a specific disease entity, rather, it causes a syndrome of mismatches of the stabilizing systems described above, in addition to headache and other symptoms. There is no evidence that medication improves recovery after concussion. Further, research has found that overuse of analgesics following injury may exacerbate concussion-related headaches or make them chronic. The most common treatment recommendations for concussion are rest. But this too has not met with satisfactory results as concussion symptoms commonly continue or worsen. An athlete who has a history of one or more concussions is at greater risk for being diagnosed with another concussion. The first ten days following a concussion appear to be the greatest risk for being diagnosed with another concussion. Second concussions are bad for several reasons. The brain has not yet recovered from the first concussion, so the damage becomes cumulative. Second impact syndromes are often the cause of fatalities in concussions, sports related, (adolescent and pro), or other causes. Although rest initially following a concussion is often advisable, it is not solely the best treatment for concussions. Our office uses the most contemporary and proactive treatment methods in the management of concussion brain injuries. We do this by directly affecting the aforementioned systems of balance for as long as these systems continue to be mismatched, there can be no recovery, and as long as these systems remain mismatched, they will perseverate the other concomitant symptoms associated with concussion and traumatic brain injury. More information on traumatic brain injury and treatment can be found on my website at

The intent of this site is to help others through sharing information.  Kelly Helsel does not endorse or intend to mislead any readers as to the content of any articles or books on this site.


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Bracing for the Setbacks of Traumatic Brain Injury !!!!!

Bracing for the Setbacks

Comments [12]

September 22, 2014

Bracing for the Setbacks

TC, Jack, and Abby Maslin

I’ll admit it: I got comfortable. Life was finally beginning to settle after the tumultuous, exhausting ride of the past few years. I was fulfilling my lifetime dream of getting yoga certified (in Greece no less!) and with a little distance from my day-to-day life, I began to relax. I stopped hiding my cell phone under my yoga mat during class, telling myself the days of daily emergency phone calls were behind me. I was in beautiful Santorini for heaven’s sake! And in just a few days my husband, TC, was going travel by himself — for the first time since his injury — across an ocean to meet me for 10 glorious days of a seriously postponed honeymoon. Life would have to cut the Maslins some slack. If only for a month.

But, as we in the TBI world know all too well, that’s not how it works. Brain injury doesn’t go away just because you decide to go away. So when I got the call from home that TC had been hospitalized after a series of seizures, I was surprised by my own reaction. My mind immediately returned to that day two years ago, the day everything fell apart. I envisioned myself as I was that horrific day — shaking and sobbing uncontrollably in the waiting room, wondering if I would be a widow, whether my son would grow up without a father. The same fears suddenly flooded my brain. It was an extreme reaction to a situation far less severe, but a reaction rooted in one terribly traumatic experience.

Logically, TC and I have always known to expect setbacks. Living with a traumatic brain injury means acknowledging the potential arrival of any number of health consequences. But this series of seizures was the first real setback since TC’s injury and I guess we thought we were in the clear, at least as far as seizures were concerned. To be honest, I try not to think too far into the future most of the time. I don’t really want to know what TBI looks like 20 or 30 years down the road. There’s nothing I can do in the present to change that aspect of our future reality, so I try hard not to feed those particular anxieties.

But, wow, did this setback catch me off-guard. It caught TC off-guard too, sinking us both into a mild depression that lasted for several weeks. We were incredibly disappointed, of course, at having to cancel a trip we’ve been trying to take for five years, but we were mainly upset by the prospect that so much hard work could suddenly be wiped out by something outside of our control.

Fortunately, TC has made a very nice recovery in the past month and with the exception of our canceled trip, life has returned to the “new normal.” But this experience has certainly given me pause. It’s hard to trust a universe that is so inherently unstable. It’s hard to feel safe in a life that has unfolded so differently from our plans. And the reality is that those feelings are just one part of the TBI experience. Without a whole lot of wisdom to impart on the subject of setbacks, I’d like to simply offer the following suggestions:

Call in your reserves.
When you encounter a setback — no matter how big or small — it is absolutely the time to call in reinforcement. For me, support came in the form of the breathing and meditation techniques I had been practicing in the weeks before. Sitting quietly as I drew awareness to my own breath forced me to stay present and keep my mind from worrying far into the future. For others, it may be phoning that one friend or family member who really “gets” it when you’re having a down day, or perhaps reaching out to an acquaintance in the TBI community. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that there are plenty of folks in the TBI network who are here for each other.

Prepare for possible post-setback depression.
Friends who have experienced other forms of chronic illness have also reported a similar type of mild depression following a health setback. I feel pretty good about how TC and I handled our sadness during this most recent experience. After acknowledging our disappointment, fears, and frustration, we spent a few days just living in those feelings. We watched comforting old movies, kept to ourselves a bit, and tried to take it really easy. After a few days of hibernating, we were ready to face the world again and the depressive feelings began to fade. It’s so important to monitor these feelings, however. Mild depression may not necessarily just go away, and staying honest about your mental health is critical. For many of us in the TBI world, depression seems to be constantly looming in the background. Be honest. Ask for help. I can’t reiterate those points strongly enough.

Setbacks stink, and while I wish I could look into my crystal ball in order to navigate the waters ahead, I recognize that setbacks are a natural part of the TBI landscape. Our world is up and it’s down and it’s often exhausting, but I am learning to appreciate and revel in every moment of quiet and calm.

The intent of this site is to help others through sharing information.  Kelly Helsel does not endorse or intend to mislead any readers as to the content of any articles or books on this site.

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