Here at my local community college, Anatomy and Physio are taught as two different classes--5 units each, very intense and taught by some of the best instructors I've ever had.
I did a 10 page research paper for Physio that was titled, "Brainstorms: A Descriptive Paper on Epilepsy" I did my presentation poster board on First Aid for Grand Mals. I got most of my information for the poster from the Epilepsy Foundation. I'm sort of proud that almost two semesters later the poster is still displayed in the hallway of the life science building. I followed the following outline:
Introduction: I started off with a bief introduction as to why the topic captured my interest.
History of Epilepsy: Where I talked about both the mythical nature of epilepsy since biblical times and then progressed forward into discussing the medical advances of EEG's. How many of the medications for seizure disorders were discovered while treating people with mental illness.
What is Epilepsy: While 1 in 10 of us are likely to experience a seizure due to some disruption in homeostasis--only 1 in 100 will have Epilepsy, which is reoccuring seizures. Talked about how a seizure can be anything the brain does--not just the grand mals that are so easy to recognize.
Why Epilepsy: Vulnerable populations are children and elderly. Major reasons for seizure disorders. Idopathic vs known cause, etc.
Why Siezures Happen: This was the cool physio part of the paper. I really enjoyed researching the different theories on kindling and irritated neurons and excitory/inhibitory neuron response. In actuallity, it is mostly theory since little is known about the brain and how it works.
Categorizing Different Seizure Types: Discussed generalized vs. partial seizures and the different syndroms within these two categories. Then disscussed that by adding "atypical" in front it's a not typical version of a syndrom. Talked about the different syndroms and why they often go mistreated and misdiagnosed by medical professionals--how absence seizures can be completely missed in children, how police may arrest or mistreat someone disrobing or wandering in the streat during a temporal lobe seizure.
First Aid for Seizures: You can pull this right off the Epilepsy Foundation Web Site. Discussed the rare condition of status epileptus and how important it was to get immediate treatment. Also discussed how a grand mal seizure in a person with Epilepsy is usually not an emergency and how expensive ambulances/ER care is and how to use good judgement in this situation--this led to a very interesting in class disucssion.
Treatments: ER treatments for status epileptus. Antiepileptic drugs, brain surgery, vagus nerve stimulator, ketogenic diet, homeopathic approaches, assitance dogs and programs that can support adult epileptics in society. The dizzying side affects of most AED's. Monotherapy being the best option when possible. Theories on how the drugs work. How little is known about how the drug work. Why so little research and development has been done in this area. This was another fun and interesting section to write. Note, for a smaller paper, this section can be a whole paper in and of itself.
Conclusion: Tied everything back to my personal story and how it was important for those providing health care to recognize potential seizure disorders that can be easily missed.
I'm proud to say that I got an A. It was a fairly easy topic to research and present. And, jugding by all the questions I had after, I captured my classmates interest as well. I feel I I have since used much of my original research for other papers on a similar bent. Feel free to use my outline as a jumping off point to do your own research on this chronic condition that we are likely to run across in our careers.
Good Luck to you All!
PS: Excuse the spelling
....am obviously doing procrastination here instead of studying for a Stats test...and just realized I needed to stop this now and just send.