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 diagnosed? 
    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 disorder
    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 disorder
    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, therapists) 
    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 diagnosis 
    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 Center. 
  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 thought. 
  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 formatting. 
    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. 


Carefully review the Grading Rubric for the criteria that will be used to evaluate your assignment.

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