Neurologists and psychiatrists work every day to diagnose patients. One way they do this is by observing patients and asking them to describe their symptoms. In this activity, students will fill the role of a neurologist trying to diagnose a disease or disorder based on the evidence provided.
After studying the provided materials on diseases and disorders in the eighth edition of Brain Facts, students will investigate the symptoms of an unnamed disease using a handful of clues. Students will sift through their knowledge of neurodegenerative diseases, injury, and psychiatric disorders to eliminate wrong answers and solve the mystery.
This activity is based on chapters 11–15 (pages 71–104) of the eighth edition of Brain Facts. Encourage students to read the chapters during class time or on their own to study for the Guess the Disorder Quiz.
- Provide your student with the “Disorder Clues” prompt.
- Ask your students to read the prompt and use the information they learned from the Brain Facts book to determine the diagnosis. This can be done individually or as a group.
After your students have completed the quiz, ask them to share their answers with the class. Ask each student or group to give their rationale as to why they chose the diagnosis they did.
This heritable disease impairs voluntary movement and cognition. Early symptoms include:
- Mood swings
- Small involuntary movements (called chorea)
- Poor coordination
- Difficulty making decisions and learning new information
As the disease progresses, the chorea becomes more pronounced and patients have increasing trouble with voluntary movements like walking, speaking, and even swallowing. Their cognitive problems also worsen.
Juveniles with this disease display additional symptoms that include slow movements, clumsiness, frequent falling, rigidity, slurred speech, and drooling. School performance declines as thinking and reasoning abilities become impaired, and seizures occur in 30 to 50 percent of children with this condition.