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 inflammatory disease of the central nervous system is usually diagnosed in people between 20 and 40 years of age. For unknown reasons, the immune system of a person with this disease launches an attack against myelin sheaths, damaging myelin and nerve fibers and creating patches of scar tissue in the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves.
This disease can cause a wide array of symptoms, depending on which parts of the nervous system are affected. Symptoms can include:
- Blurred vision
- Slurred speech
- Loss of coordination
- Uncontrollable tremors
- Loss of bladder control
- Memory loss