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Final Project: Biopsychological Analysis of a Neuropsychological Disorder

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Final Project: Biopsychological Analysis of a
Neuropsychological Disorder

In your Final Project, you will synthesize an overview of the major theories
relating to the pathology of a disorder as well as provide a detailed
discussion of the etiology (causes) and clinical interventions, using research
to support your analysis.  Your topic will be the neuropsychological
disorder that was selected and approved by the instructor in your Week One
assignment, and for which you provided an outline in the Week Two assignment.

In keeping with the focus of this class, the emphasis of your paper will be on
the neuroscience aspects of the disorder, to include:

  • Theories of etiology (causes)
  • Associated factors in development of the disorder
    (genetic, environmental, familial, lifestyle)
  • Pathology (abnormalities of physical structure and
    function, including genetic and biochemical aspects)
  • Treatment options (pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic,
    with rationales for use based on current understanding of the disorder)
  • Diagnostic and research technologies employed in
    clinical diagnosis, care, and basic science research  

Your research will include a minimum of six to eight peer-reviewed sources,
which provide evidence-based information regarding the biological and
psychological features of the disorder and were published within the last five
years. At least four of your references should be peer-reviewed publications of
original research studies. To justify your assertions, provide in-text
citations for all factual statements taken from your research, with
corresponding references drawn from scholarly sources.  All citations and
sources are to be documented according to APA style, as outlined in the Ashford
Writing Center, and should support and enhance your analysis of the selected
disorder. Sources may include review articles, original research articles,
information from government agencies (e.g., National Institutes of Health, Centers
for Disease Control, Food and Drug Administration, Drug Enforcement
Administration) or professional societies (e.g., professional society position
papers or clinical practice guidelines).   

Final Project- Components

Section I:  Introduction

This section should provide a general introduction to the topic as well as an
overview of the background and history of the disorder. Further, it should
provide a succinct thesis statement of the purpose and overall direction of the
paper.  For instance, if your paper will have a large focus on the role of
particular neurotransmitters in the etiology of the disorder as a rationale for
treatment options, you should indicate this in the introduction. Finally, this
section should provide demographic data that indicates the prevalence of the
disorder in both general and specific populations.  

Specific required components of the Introduction:   

  1. Succinct thesis statement (one or more sentences
    detailing the focus of your Final Project and informing the reader about your
    topic and the scope of your paper)
  2. Define the type of disorder
    1. Neurological
    2. Psychological
    3. Neuropsychological
  3. Diagnostic criteria
    1. What components must be present for the disorder to be
    2. Include physical and psychological signs and symptoms.
  4. Reason(s) why you chose this topic
    1. Personal experience
    2. Professional experience
    3. Other reason
  5. Epidemiology
    1. Who is affected?
    2. Are they young/old?
    3. Male/female
    4. Rural/urban
    5. Ethnicities

Section II: Discussion

This section should make up the majority of the Final Project in terms of size.
Here, you will expand upon the main aspects of the disorder and provide details
relating to the disorder and its management. This section should provide
specific and detailed information (Reminder: All statements of fact require an
in-text citation).  Cited/referenced sources should be used to
support your analysis of the components of the discussion.  

Specific required components of the Discussion section:   

  1. Detailed description of the disorder
    1. Signs and symptoms
    2. Epidemiology
    3. Any subtypes of the disorder
  2. Detailed description of the natural history of the
    1. How the disorder develops over time with treatment
    2. How the disorder develops over time without treatment
  3. Methods used to diagnose, evaluate, and manage the
    1. Initial diagnosis (e.g., physical exam, imaging and/or
      laboratory testing, special studies, psychological evaluation,
      psychometric testing)  
    2. Ongoing management (e.g., physical exam, imaging and/or
      laboratory testing, special studies, psychological evaluation,
      psychometric testing)
  4. Risk factors
    1. Genetics
    2. Lifestyle
    3. Environmental factors
  5. Other causative factors
    1. Known
    2. Theorized
  6. Nervous system structures and/or pathways involved in
    the disorder (detailed information regarding the underlying pathology as
    it applies to these structures and functional pathways)
  7. Neurotransmitter(s) and receptor system(s) involved in
    the pathology of the disorder
  8. Current treatment options
    1. Drug (pharmacologic) therapies
    2. Nonpharmacologic therapies (including psychological
      and other therapeutic services)
    3. Type of care providers (e.g., medical, nursing,
    4. Type of healthcare setting (e.g., hospital, home,
      outpatient, nursing facility)
  9. Future areas of research
    1. Treatment options
    2. Evaluation and diagnostic methods for initial
    3. Increasing knowledge relating to etiology and
      pathologic processes

Section III: Conclusion

Provide a concluding summary of your findings regarding your selected disorder.
The conclusion is a summarization of information that has already been
presented.  Typically, if you mention something in the conclusion section
of an academic paper, you should have already mentioned this aspect of the
topic earlier in the paper.

Specific required components of the Conclusion section:   

  1. The conclusion reaffirms your initial thesis statement.
  2. The conclusion may be one or more paragraphs. Use the
    material you have discussed in the paper to support the validity of your
    synthesis and elaborate on the theme of your paper.

Writing the Final Project
The Final Project:

  1. Must be 10 to 12 double-spaced pages in length, and
    formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing
  2. Must include a title page with the following:
    1. Title of paper
    2. Student’s name
    3. Course name and number
    4. Instructor’s name
    5. Date submitted
  3. Must begin with an introductory paragraph that has a
    succinct thesis statement.
  4. Must address the topic of the paper with critical
  5. Must include section headings, formatted according to
    APA style, to organize your paper. Each paragraph must have a minimum of
    three full sentences.  
  6. Must include in-text citations for all statements of
    facts obtained through your research.
    1. Remember that direct quotes (identical phrases or
      sentences taken from a source) require in-text citations with appropriate
    2. Statements of opinion should be clearly stated as
      such, and include a rationale to support why you hold this opinion (e.g.,
      personal or professional experience, your research findings).
  7. Must end with a conclusion that reaffirms your thesis.
  8. Must use at least six to eight scholarly sources that
    were published within the last five years, including a minimum of four
    peer-reviewed original research studies.
    1. In general, dictionaries and encyclopedias are not
      considered appropriate resources for academic writing.
  9. Must document all sources in APA style as outlined in
    the Ashford Writing Center.
  10. Must include a separate reference page, formatted
    according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.



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