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 mood disorder is characterized by symptoms like feeling empty or sad, irritability, problems with sleep, and changes in appetite or weight. Diagnosis is based on at least four of these five criteria persisting for at least two weeks. Among the factors combining to cause this mood disorder are genes, biological risk factors, environmental triggers, and psychological influences. Many people develop this mood disorder in response to the stress of a difficult life experience or disabling medical problem such as chronic pain.