For the Classroom

Guess the Disorder Quiz: Traumatic Brain Injury

  • Published11 Jul 2018
  • Reviewed11 Jul 2018
  • Author Emma Lindberg
  • Source BrainFacts/SfN


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.

Prep Work

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.


  1. Provide your student with the “Disorder Clues” prompt.
  2. 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.

Disorder Clues

These injuries are caused by bumps, blows, or jolts to the head that cause multiple minuscule bleeds or by penetrating head injuries that directly destroy brain tissue. This injury can be mild, such as concussion — a temporary disruption in brain activity— or severe.

This injury can cause:

  • Bruises in the brain
  • Massive bleeding inside the brain
  • Cuts in the brain tissue
  • Direct nerve damage
  • Death of nerve cells

This injury can trigger:

  • Swelling and inflammation
  • Fever
  • Memory loss
  • Impaired judgment
  • Impaired impulse control
  • Seizures
  • Progressive dementia
  • Other neurological impairments

Even mild forms of this injury can damage neurons, which release pro-inflammatory factors that initiate and sustain an inflammatory response.


Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)



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