Skip to Content

The Challenge of Epilepsy


Author(s)

Charlie W. Zhao
School of Medicine
Yale University
Weige.zhao@yale.edu
Jasper C.H. Wong

Western University
Tom L. Haffie (rr)
Department of Biology
Western University
thaffie@uwo.ca

Abstract

This case study was originally developed for undergraduate science students as part of an extracurricular competition, but it could also be delivered as a directed case. Accordingly two versions of the activity are included. Each version requires students to read the same story of a young boy who has been diagnosed with a form of epilepsy that does not respond to currently available medication. Through conversations with various clinicians and researchers, the boy's parents find out more about epilepsy in its clinical, social and scientific contexts. Version A of the challenge requires considerable creativity and independence as students prepare a grant proposal for a research idea to study epilepsy. Version B can be used by instructors who wish to run a more traditional directed case in which a dramatic scenario is accompanied by a set of questions that students answer in groups and discuss in class. Although the case topic is based in neuroscience, the material is accessible to general science students; the narrative provides sufficient background information without formal instruction.


Objectives

  • Learn about current treatment options and diagnostic tools for epilepsy.
  • Learn about the social context for individuals living with epilepsy.
  • Learn about current research in epilepsy from various fields including physiology, pharmacology, cell biology and genetics.
  • Appreciate the creative nature of scientific inquiry by learning to formulate original questions within the given constraints.
  • Access and critically evaluate literature in order to determine where their idea fits within the broader field.
  • Design a controlled experiment to test their proposed hypothesis.
  • Practice conveying information effectively in writing.

Keywords

epilepsy; seizures; neurology; neuroscience; brain; MRI; EEG; creativity; independent learning; extracurricular

Topical Areas

N/A

Educational Level

Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division

Format

PDF

Type / Methods

Directed, Discussion

Language

English

Subject Headings

Biology (General)  |   Cell Biology  |   Medicine (General)  |   Neuroscience  |   Interdisciplinary Sciences  |   Molecular Biology  |   Physiology  |   Pharmacy / Pharmacology  |  


Date Posted

9/8/2016

Teaching Notes

Case teaching notes are password-protected and access to them is limited to paid subscribed instructors. To become a paid subscriber, begin the process by registering.

Teaching notes are intended to help teachers select and adopt a case. They typically include a summary of the case, teaching objectives, information about the intended audience, details about how the case may be taught, and a list of references and resources.

Answer Key

Answer keys for the cases in our collection are password-protected and access to them is limited to paid subscribed instructors. To become a paid subscriber, begin the process by registering.

Comments