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From a family practitioner to the most sophisticated neurologists, JFK Medical Center's staff includes some of the most highly respected physicians in the northeast. For a referral to a JFK physician, click here.

JFK Johnson Magazine

JFK Magazine Winter 2019



video pregnancy

Congratulations to JFK Family Medicine Center: Center for Pregnancy for being selected as a 2015 Community Leader of Distinction!

Rock Steady Boxing

Rock Steady Boxing, led by certified instructors provides high-intensity exercise for patients more likely to be directed toward low-intensity activities. In addition to the exercise benefits, with boxing, patients can feel empowered by “fighting back” against PD. Unlike traditional boxing, there is no contact, no sparring and no hitting. As with traditional boxing rounds, however, there are intensive periods of work and then rest as the patient makes traditional boxing moves aimed at boxing equipment instead of a human opponent.

Unlike other exercise forms like stationary bike-riding or walking or running on a treadmill, “Rock Steady Boxing” also challenges the brain by encouraging the patient to think about the movements the instructor is giving.

The Rock Steady Boxing Program is on-campus at the JFK for Life Health & Fitness Center. To get more information, call 732-632-1610.

JFK's Parkinson's Disease Center - FAQ

Comprehensive Clinical Care from two Nationally Recognized Institutes

What is Parkinson's Disease?
Parkinson's disease (PD) is a chronic, progressive neurodegenerative disease involving both motor and non-motor symptoms.  PD affects more than 1 million people in the United States.  Although PD is diagnosed primarily in the 60+ age group, a growing number of cases, known as "early onset PD" are diagnosed as early as in the 30s. In its advanced stages, PD can have a significant impact on a person's quality of life as well as that of their families.  

What are Common Parkinson's Symptoms?
The most common Motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease are shaking of the hands, extremities, face and jaw, known as resting tremor; slowness and difficulty of repetitive movement, known as bradykinesia; difficulty with balance and coordination, known as postural instability and muscle stiffness, known as rigidity.  A number of telltale Non Motor symptoms include difficulty speaking, swallowing and sleeping, loss of smell, constipation, depression, fatigue and memory loss.  

What Symptoms can Point to an Early Diagnosis of Parkinson's disease?
Because symptoms of Parkinson's disease is shared with many other conditions, it is critical that the doctor making the diagnosis is an expert in the field of neurology and movement disorders. The first step in diagnosing Parkinson's disease is a full neurological examination. Your JFK physician examination will thoroughly evaluate movement, balance and order appropriate tests to diagnose the condition and help rule out other similar presenting conditions.  Sometimes, patients exhibiting Parkinson's-like symptoms may be diagnosed with other conditions. The Neuroscience Institute also was among the first three centers in New Jersey to employ the DaTscan™, a highly sophisticated imaging modality that assesses the dopamine transporters (DaT) as dopamine is believed to play a major role in the development and course of Parkinson's disease.  While there is no test that will positively identify PD, there are numerous protocols to eliminate other conditions as quickly as possible to provide proper treatment.  

What is The Medical Management of PD?
Once properly diagnosed, you may be asked to begin medication management.  One's individual reaction to the type and dose of PD medication must be closely monitored.  In some cases, administration of the proper drug may almost immediately lessen the symptoms.  Some patients may go through a number of trial medications until your symptoms are optimized.  JFK's clinicians will soon monitor changes in symptoms using the criteria for the Parkinson's Outcomes Project (POP), established by the National Parkinson's Foundation (NPF), "which measures variations in treatment and patient outcomes to approximate best-practice in patient care".

What is the role of Dopamine in PD?
Dopamine cells are the chemical messengers between the brain and your body.  For people with Parkinson's, dopamine-producing nerve cells in the brain break down and eventually die.  The loss of dopamine results in abnormal brain activity, which in turn produces many different symptoms.  For many years, doctors and scientists have been actively searching for a way to reverse or stop the loss of dopamine.  Unfortunately, the research has yet to come up with the exact cause(s) of PD, thereby thwarting efforts to find the cure.  In the meantime, many medical, surgical and physical advances have proven to lessen the effects of PD, leading to a better quality of life for patients.

What is the Role of Rehabilitation?
Depending on an individual's needs, the care plan can encompass nearly every outpatient therapy offered at the Johnson Rehabilitation Institute (JRI).  Popular programs include LSVT BIG® and LSVT LOUD® programs. The evidence-based LSVT BIG® initiative is a four-week program in which participants meet four times a week to learn how to use bigger movements automatically in daily living. Recent research studies conducted at JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute have demonstrated significant improvement in PD symptoms with LSVT BIG.  In addition, JRI uses traditional physical therapy methods for postural evaluation and gait/balance enhancement and training.  LSVT LOUD®, conducted by the JFK Language Pathologists, is an effective program intended to teach patients how to speak louder and with better articulation, which can be challenging for patients with PD. JFK Johnson Rehabilitation was the first institution to offer LOUD FOR LIFE, a weekly "group" refresher designed to maintain voice loudness following the 16-day LSVT program. To ensure that each PD patient is progressing to their full potential, JRI conducts a monthly PD clinic staffed by physiatrists, physical therapists and speech therapists.  

What are the Surgical Options for PD?
JFK Neuroscience Institute is one of only a few New Jersey Parkinson's Disease Centers that performs Deep Brain Stimulation surgery (DBS).  DBS can be highly effective in reducing or even eliminating the effects of certain motor symptoms such as tremors or, in advanced cases, uncontrolled involuntary muscle movement (dyskinesia).  Another option is Carbidopa/Levidopa Enternal Suspension (Duopa).  Patients must meet certain criteria to qualify for these procedures.

What is the Importance of Exercise?
Besides taking the proper medications at the proper time, the single-most important chance one has to potentially alter the course of the disease and live a longer and healthier life with Parkinson's disease is to exercise regularly.  JFK's trained physicians and therapists will guide the way, but it is up to the patient, to value this vital information and stay active.   Your daily routine must include walking, as a minimum.  Climbing stairs, stretching and maintaining good posture are just as important as bicycling, yoga, Pilates and floor exercises.  LSVT BIG is a good start, but one must keep it up every day.  If one does not have the initiative to exercise on their own, health clubs and fitness centers exists which can also serve to enhance socialization.  In addition to a comprehensive fitness center offering yoga and other group classes JFK has introduced non-contact Rock Steady Boxing (RSB) to enhance its already comprehensive exercise programs.  Rock Steady's slogan, "Never Give Up" and "Keep Fighting" will be adopted by JFK's Parkinson 's disease Center!  Rock Steady Boxing programs' proven benefits are well matched to the entire spectrum of physical therapy for people with Parkinson's.

Why Turn to JFK?
The diagnosis and treatment of Parkinson's disease is most effective when one team of movement specialists and rehabilitative experts work together in an interdisciplinary setting treats patients.  JFK's Parkinson's Disease Center, located in Edison, NJ is uniquely qualified to offer all of the Parkinson's patient's needs in one hospital.  The JFK Neuroscience Institute works hand in hand with JFK Johnson's Rehabilitation Institute in order to accurately diagnose whether or not one has PD and to create and coordinate a complete care plan to meet the expectations and specific symptoms presented by each individual patient.  Unlike most other PD treatment programs, the entirety of JFK's Award Winning Parkinson's Disease Center is co-located right at JFK Medical Center to maximize your convenience and outcome.

What are additional JFK Services for PD Patients?
Additional services at JFK Johnson available to the PD patient include traditional physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, swallowing assessment and treatment, orthotic services, clinical psychologists, cognitive assessment and treatment, and acupuncture. Diet and Nutrition clinicians are also available to guide patients through a healthy diet and timing of medications that that optimize effectiveness. Expanded hours are in place to satisfy increased patient demand.

Can you detail Available Parkinson's Outreach?
Professional education and community outreach also are major components of the work of both the Neuroscience Institute and the Johnson Rehabilitation Institute, which holds an annual conference for physicians and participates in a number of awareness and advocacy programs.

JFK treats hundreds of Parkinson's patients, and we believe that having and understanding information about the disease can mean the difference between tolerating the disease and outsmarting it.  PD patients can and do learn from others who have the disease.  JFK provides informational outlets such as monthly support groups for patients and their care partners, community lectures, biannual professional seminars that include some of the best speakers in the world in the area of Parkinson's disease, an annual bus trip to NYC to participate in The Parkinson's Unity Walk, raising money for Parkinson's Research.  Other functions include accredited professional Continuing Educational Credits (CEU) symposiums and conferences, Parkinson's patient art shows and participation in the Michael J. Fox Partners in Parkinson event in NYC.  JFK will also provide its PD patients with National Parkinson's Foundation published pamphlets, data sheets and emergency kits in both English and Spanish. JFK's PD outreach stretches well beyond its traditional primary, secondary and tertiary catchment areas.   JFK also posts essential PD service dates on the National Parkinson's Foundation's calendar.

Does JFK Participate in Parkinson's Research?
Yes. JFK's Neuroscience and Rehabilitation Institute's neurologists, physiatrists and therapists also are investigators in numerous PD-related trials, including one examining sleep disorders in Parkinson's and neuro-ophthalmologic aspects of the disease. JFK's physical therapists and speech therapists are currently performing important research in the area of LSVT BIG and LOUD.  Ongoing PD-related research plays an important role in the quality of care of JFK's patients and, someday soon, the discovery of a cure for this quixotic disease.  

At JFK, we are always at the cutting-edge of Parkinson's diagnosis and treatment, and we are constantly "upping our game" to maintain that reputation.  The Institute is a member of the Parkinson's Study Group, the largest, not-for-profit research network of Parkinson's centers in North America. 

Falls Prevention Fair: Standing Together to Prevent Falls

JRI--37-RETJFK Conference Center (across the street from the hospital)
70 James Street, Edison
Saturday, September 22, 2018, 8:30am-12:30pm

Click Here To Register!

What is the Falls Prevention Fair?

The Falls Prevention Fair is an opportunity for members of the community to meet JFK health care professionals at no cost and learn more about safety and fall prevention. The fair will consist of the following:

  • Information stations/booths that participants can visit to have one on one discussions with health care professionals.
  • Short lecture sessions (15-20 minutes) presented by our medical staff and rehabilitation staff.
  • Short chair yoga sessions conducted by a trained professional.
  • Information stations, lectures and chair yoga sessions will be occurring concurrently and offered throughout the day, from 8:30am-12:30pm.
  • Raffles, giveaways and light refreshments will also be offered.

JRI--05-RETWho should come?

This fair is appropriate for anyone interested in learning more about how to be safe at home and in the community in order to help prevent falls.

Do I need to attend from 8:30am-12:30pm?

The fair begins at 8:30am and ends by 12:30pm. It is ongoing and intended for participants to come and go based on their own convenience. Therefore, participants can attend at any time between 8:30am and 12:30pm and can stay as long as they would like. No appointments are necessary.

Who can I contact if I want more information or have other questions?

For directions please visit:

(Please note that the Fair will be held at the JFK Conference Center, 70 James Street, which is located across the street from the hospital.)

Click Here To Register!

If you have additional questions, please contact Pragati Duttaroy or Shelley Levin at 732-744-5990.

JFK Parkinson’s Disease Program

Comprehensive Care. Patient-Focused. Innovative Research

Our Approach JFK’s approach to managing Parkinson’s disease (PD) uses a combination of gold standard interventions, a multidisciplinary team of clinical professionals and the newest discoveries from scientific literature and innovative research.

Located in Edison, New Jersey, the JFK Parkinson’s Disease Center is comprised of the JFK Neuroscience Institute and the JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute. Both Institutes are uniquely qualified to offer comprehensive services in a single location and work collaboratively to accurately diagnose PD and to create a care plan for each individual patient.

Patients receive a wide range of medical care from our neurologists, neurosurgeons, physiatrists, nurse practitioners, as well as comprehensive sub-specialized rehabilitation services from speech therapists, occupational and physical therapists. It is our goal to educate patients and their families about PD thereby helping them to achieve an improved quality of life.


Whether it develops slowly or suddenly, a movement disorder is characterized by uncontrollable body movements, lack of coordination, muscle tightness, or increasing difficulty in walking or using one’s hands. Movement disorders are neurological and require an accurate diagnosis, along with options for treatment, in order for patients to remain in control of their bodies and lives.

At the JFK Neuroscience Institute, expert clinicians, including neurologists, neurosurgeons, neuro-pathologists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, neuro-psychologists, neuro-radiologists and social workers are uniquely equipped to develop a comprehensive, individualized program of care that meets the specific of each patient and his or her family.

Types of Disorders

The Institute’s multidisciplinary approach serves the varying medical and surgical needs of patients with movement disorders such as:

  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple system atrophy
  • Cortical-basal ganglionic degeneration (CBGD) Essential Tremor
  • Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP)
  • Atypical Parkinsonism (Parkinsonism-Plus)
  • Dementia with Lewy bodies (diffuse Lewy Body Disease)
  • Vascular (multi-infarct) Parkinsonism
  • Blepharospasm / Hemifacial spasm
  • Dystonia
  • Huntington's disease


People of all ages are at risk for developing a movement disorder, although many of the disorders are typically associated with aging. Some common causes are:

  • Degenerative conditions (Parkinson’s, striatonigral degeneration, progressive supranuclear palsy, etc.)
  • Heredity (Wilson’s disease, essential tremor, and certain dystonias)
  • Infections
  • Exposure to manganese, carbon monoxide or thallium
  • History of stroke, head injury, or cerebral vascular disease

Diagnostic Services

An accurate diagnosis of a movement disorder relies on a combination of tests and a carefully documented history of the problem. A comprehensive diagnostic work-up at the JFK Neuroscience Institute is developed for each patient that may include some or all of the following:

  • A comprehensive medical history
  • A complete physical and neurological examination
  • Blood tests (routine chemistries, CBC, ceruloplasmin)
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA)
  • Functional MRI Scan
  • Computed Tomography (CT) scans DaTscan
  • Lumbar puncture
  • Autonomic testing

Treatment Options

After the comprehensive evaluation, the patient and family are offered a list of treatment options tailored to the patient’s specific problems, including: injections, psychological evaluations, rehabilitation efforts, and surgery. They are aimed at improving the function and quality of life of the patient.

Medical Options

  • Adjusting current medications
  • Adding new, standard medications
  • Investigational medications
    • Establishing eligibility for enrollment in ongoing clinical trials
  • Consulting a certified dietitian for nutrition therapy
  • Injections: Botulinum toxins
  • Rehabilitation:
    • Evaluation by a physician specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation at the Johnson Rehabilitation Institute
    • Physical, occupational, or speech therapy
  • Psychological Evaluations
    • Neuro-psychological evaluation for cognitive rehabilitation
    • Psychological evaluation for mood disorders

Neurosurgical Options

The JFK Neuroscience Institute is one of only a few New Jersey Parkinson’s Disease Centers that performs Deep Brain Stimulus (DBS). DBS can be highly effective in reducing or even eliminating the effects of certain motor symptoms such as tremors or, in advanced cases, uncontrolled involuntary muscle movement (dyskinesia).

Another option is Carbidopa/Levidopa Enteral Suspension (Duopa). Patients must meet certain criteria to qualify for these procedures.


The JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute offers comprehensive services for Parkinson’s Disease patients encompassing medical evaluation and therapeutic intervention, as well as cutting-edge approaches to improving and maintaining function. Each patient is treated individually with a customized treatment plan that includes programs for continued generalization of acquired skills into the home environment and community settings.

Our Approach for Living Well with Parkinson’s Disease

  • Medication compliance
  • Rehabilitation services for essential therapy
  • Adaptive equipment
  • Adapting the home environment for safety
  • Ongoing psycho-social support
  • Exercise
  • Education on new and ongoing treatment options
  • Diet and nutritional information
  • Encouragement and inspiration on how to be one’s best self

Our Parkinson’s Disease program provides multi-professional consultation by a team that includes a physiatrist (Doctor of Rehabilitative Medicine), a physical therapist and a speech language pathologist. This visit provides you with an opportunity to be evaluated by a team of professionals assessing posture, balance and overall function for the purpose of deciding which services are beneficial to your condition. This approach allows you to have a group of professionals available for consultation and to obtain the necessary recommendations for ongoing or new treatments.

Specialized Parkinson’s Disease Services

  • Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Physicians
  • Comprehensive Individual Physical and Occupational Therapy (link to PT/OT)
  • Speech Pathology for Swallowing, Communication and Cognitive Treatment
  • Neuropsychological testing and treatment
  • LSVT LOUD and LSVT BIG Certified therapists
  • Orthotics
  • Wheelchair Clinics
  • Post therapy group wellness classes (JFK Health & Wellness Center)
  • Nutritional Consultations
  • Psychological Support
  • Audiology Services
  • Rock Steady Boxing
  • Monthly Parkinson’s Disease team consultation
  • Rehabilitation Facilities in Edison, Metuchen and Monroe, New Jersey

Continuity of Care

We recognize that Parkinson’s Disease patient therapy needs to support carry-over into real life with successful generalization of strategies. Patients and families need to know how to continue navigating through their everyday lives after skilled intervention is completed as part of their treatment plan. It is important to return to physicians and therapists to evaluate effectiveness of current treatments, and manage changes or fluctuations in function. We are committed to being a community resource for all Parkinson’s Disease needs, including referrals, support groups, skilled therapies and necessary equipment.

Long-Term Care

If long-term care eventually becomes necessary, there are three Hartwyck Nursing, Convalescent and Rehabilitation centers within JFK Health: one of them houses the first dedicated unit for individuals with Huntington’s disease in New Jersey. Each center offers skilled nursing and respite care in pleasant, comfortable surroundings and allows patients and their families to remain in communication with and close to the care of their Neuroscience Institute physicians.

Stroke Recovery Program


[Download Our Brochure]

Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with a stroke? You are not alone.

Stroke is a leading cause of long term disability in the United States.

Make an appointment to see our Stroke Team and improve your chance at recovery while reducing your modifiable risk factors.

From Rehab... Through Recovery.

Multiple Stroke specialists, all under one roof…

Our Stroke Recovery Team offers person-centered care from rehabilitation professionals who collaborate to ensure that you receive the individualized treatment plan that will best help you recover.

  • Physiatrist – Board Certified physicians specializing in the special needs of individuals with stroke
  • Physical Therapist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Speech-Language Pathologist

Other Rehabilitation Professionals on Our Team:

  • Rehabilitation Psychologist
  • Nutritionist
  • Neuropsychologist
  • Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialist
  • Social Worker
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist
  • Audiologist
  • Health and Fitness Center
  • Stroke Support Group

Research shows that having a stroke puts you at higher risk for having another stroke. Helping you learn to reduce your risk factors decreases your risk of having another stroke.

Benefits of our Comprehensive Team Strategy:

  • Using a multidisciplinary team based approach to improve outcomes.
  • Identify limitations in your functional recovery.
  • Incorporating subspecialty referrals for interventions such as spasticity management, pain management, bracing and acupuncture as necessary.

[Download Our Brochure]

65 James Street, Edison, NJ 08820
To arrange an appointment call
732-321-7000 Ext. 62134 |