For this assignment you will address the first case study and then choose ONE of the other two case studies to address in your assignment.

What is a Case Study? “A case study is a narrative used to help you practice real-life analysis and communication skills. It is a learning tool that provides readers with “enough detail…to understand the nature and scope of the problem, and…serve as a springboard for discussion and learning” (O’Rourke, 2007, p. 391).

Use your textbook and academic resources from the Purdue Global Library to support your responses. You can access the Library directly from the Course Resources area for this class, or through the student portal. Be sure to cite and reference all your sources. The Library has a feature that allows you to automatically create an APA formatted reference.

Your assignment should be between 750–1000 words, and all sources must be properly cited using APA format.

CASE STUDY #1 (Required)

Chen is cooking dinner for his family. He moves to pull a pot off the stove and accidently touches the burner. Reflexively he pulls his finger away from the stove and immediately feels the pain.

  1. What is the role of the brain and spinal cord in this response?
  2. Describe the three types of neurons involved in this response and their role in the reflex arc. Explain the withdrawal reflex that results in Chen moving his hand away from the stove.
  3. Evolutionarily, why do you think the human body has this system in place? Why is this reflex important?
  4. Chen’s wife, Amira, was born with congenital insensitivity to pain, a condition that inhibits the ability to perceive physical pain. Find a reliable source related to congenital insensitivity to pain and address the following questions:
    1. What is congenital insensitivity to pain?
    2. What are some of the signs and symptoms of this condition?
    3. In this week’s reading, you learned about the role of sodium ions in the conduction of nerve impulses. Individuals with congenital insensitivity to pain are unable to make a sodium channel called NaVi.7. How is this related to the signs and symptoms of the disease?
    4. What might happen if Amira had touched the burner? How would her response be different than Chen’s?
    5. What advice would you give to a child who has this condition and is interested in playing contact sports? What would happen if this child experienced a fracture?


Agnes is 45 years old when she notices that her hands shake (tremor) when she is performing everyday tasks like signing contracts at her law firm. Her friends and family also notice that she is moving slower than usual, and that she shuffles when she walks. After consulting with a neurologist, Agnes is diagnosed with Early-Onset Parkinson’s disease.

  1. What is Early-Onset Parkinson’s disease? How is the disease different from Parkinson’s disease?
  2. What is the neurotransmitter affected by this disorder? What is this neurotransmitter’s role? How does the decrease in the concentration of this neurotransmitter explain Agnes’ symptoms?
  3. What is the most common treatment for this disorder? What is the mechanism of action of the treatment?
  4. Agnes’ neurologist refers her to a geneticist who later determines that she carries an autosomal dominant mutation in the SNCA gene associated with Early-Onset Parkinson’s disease. Find a reliable source related to the relationship between the SNCA gene and Early-Onset Parkinson’s Disease. Summarize the information you obtain. Based on your research, would you advise her three children to have genetic testing performed to determine if they also carry the disease mutation? Why or why not? Include the appropriate reference and citation for the source you consulted.


Monica just celebrated her 30th birthday. During her annual physical exam, Monica mentions symptoms she has been experiencing over the last few months. These symptoms include blurred vision, numbness in her fingers and face, dizziness, fatigue, weakness, and depression. Although Monica believes that these symptoms are related to stress and aging, her physician is concerned and suspects that Monica may have multiple sclerosis (MS).

  1. What is MS?
  2. What is the main cell structure affected in MS? What is the role of this structure?
  3. How does the impact of MS on this cell structure help to explain Monica’s symptoms? Include an explanation of how the action potential of a neuron is affected in MS.

What is the treatment for multiple sclerosis? What is the mechanism of action of the treatment?

  1. The origin or etiology of MS is not clear. Find a reliable source related to the etiology of multiple sclerosis. Based on your research, what do scientists hypothesize to be the causes of MS? Include the appropriate reference and citation for the source you consulted.

Basic Writing Requirements:

  • Essay should be formatted as per APA-formatting guidelines, double spacing the assignment, and using a 10 or 12 font size.
  • Essay should include a title page, an introduction, and a conclusion.
  • The body of the essay should address the different topics and questions described above.
  • All statements of fact should be included in an APA reference list at the end of the essay.
  • The essay should be a minimum of 750 words in length not including the title page and reference list.

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