Submit your final project topic choice via the discussion.
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For the final project I have chosen to focus on Henry Winkler who starred in Happy Days as The Fonz. In my research for a celebrity or historical figure to focus on for this project I was relatively surprised by how many celebrities and historical figures have been diagnosed with learning disabilities and cognitive disorders, Dyslexia and ADHD being two of the most frequently diagnosed. There are several reasons why I chose to focus on Henry Winkler out of all the potential selections that could have been made. First, I grew up watching Happy Days with my family and always loved his character within the show. Second, he was diagnosed with Dyslexia at the age of 31 only because he had taken his stepson to be diagnosed for the same disorder, which I found to be extremely interesting (Taylor, 2019). Before his diagnosis, his family used to bully him and call him all kinds of names because they thought he was stupid and unable to comprehend things that they were able to. This struck a cord with me because my brother was diagnosed with Dyslexia at an early age and my parents did everything that they could to help him succeed academically and made sure that he still felt sufficient and loved. This could be a difference in culture, as well as a difference in generations. Finally, I believe that there is currently a lot of information about Dyslexia that has been found within the past decade. This information is advanced by recent technological breakthroughs that allow researchers to look deeper into the brain and see which areas of the brain are more affected by Dyslexia than others. I look forward to completing more research about Henry Winkler and Dyslexia for this project.
Taylor, D. B. (2019). Henry Winkler turned his dyslexia into a children’s book series. Retrieved from https://pagesix.com/2019/01/28/henry-winkler-turned-his-dyslexia-into-a-childrens-book-series/
The patient is a 15-year-old female with anorexia nervosa who was diagnosed with Wernickeâ€™s encephalopathy. She presented with slowness of thought, confusion, and eye oscillations (Peters, Parvin, Petersen, Faircloth, & Levine, 2007). Wernickeâ€™s encephalopathy is the acute form of Korsakoffâ€™s syndrome, which is a chronic dementia-like disorder, causing anterograde amnesia (Peters et al., 2007). Both disorders are caused by thiamine deficiency. Cases are typically associated with alcoholism in adult populations, but can also result from non-alcohol related nutritional deficiencies in pediatric populations (Peters et al., 2007). Part of the reason I chose to study this vignette is that the disorder is not typical in pediatric populations, and it should be studied further so that clinicians donâ€™t misdiagnose it (Peters et al., 2007)
I like that the causal mechanisms of Wernickeâ€™s encephalopathy are relatively well understood, which will allow me to go in-depth describing the physiological aspects of the disorder. Without enough thiamin, glucose in brain cells doesn’t metabolize properly, causing damage to the cells (Carlson & Birkett, 2017). If chronic, this causes severe damage to the mammillary bodies in the posterior hypothalamus (Carlson & Birkett, 2017).
Based on a quick literature search, nutritional approaches to treatments seem to be relatively clear-cut, while behavioral and medicinal treatments are the subject of new research. Preventative measures seem to be centered around diet and healthy lifestyle choices. I am also interested in exploring secondary effects of the disorder, such as affective disorders that may develop during long-term treatment (Oudman, Dam, & Postma, 2018).
Carlson, N. R., & Birkett, M. A. (2017). Physiology of behavior (12th ed.). Harlow: Pearson.
Oudman, E., Dam, M. V., & Postma, A. (2018). Social and emotional loneliness in Korsakoffâ€™s syndrome. Cognitive Neuropsychiatry, 23(5), 307â€“320. doi: 10.1080/13546805.2018.1505607
Peters, T. E., Parvin, M., Petersen, C., Faircloth, V. C., & Levine, R. L. (2007). A case report of Wernickeâ€™s encephalopathy in a pediatric patient with Anorexia Nervosa – restricting type. Journal of Adolescent Health, 40(4), 376â€“383. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2006.11.140