Nanotechnology Application Neuroscience


Nanotechnology is defined as the technology and manufacture of small non-biological or biological objects that involve individual molecules or atoms, or are manipulated on the scale of 10 -9 meters (less than 100 nanometers) (Veloz-Castillo, West, Cordero-Arreola, Arias-Carrión, & Méndez-Rojas, 2016). These materials are usually designed to perform particular tasks, and the technology is being utilized in scientific disciplines like tissue engineering, molecular imaging, molecular biology, surface science, and microelectronics (Mattei & Rehman, 2015).

Due to the small size of nanotools and nanoparticles, medical applications of nanotechnology support the possibility that interventions of better control, higher precision, and minimal invasion can be done at the subcellular level, and provide more accurate control of intracellular networks than is currently in existence.

In neuroscience, a field that is involved in the understanding of nervous system functions and information processing, and the application of knowledge to treating neurological disorders, nanotechnology can be used to recognize cellular-level diseases during diagnosis, and deliver therapeutic compounds in the treatment of these conditions.

Historical Timeline and Predecessor Assessment

K. Eric Drexler (1986) wrote the first book in nanotechnology and credited technology for people’s ability to arrange atoms and manipulate them to create specific forms or perform particular functions. He recounted the progress that engineers were making in microelectronic technology and spoke of molecular technology, a new invention that will change the world by enabling people to handle individual molecules and atoms with precision and control. Regarding medicine, Drexler (1986) observed that genetic engineers were already paving the way for molecular technology by using modern gene synthesis machines that built orderly polymers with a level of precision that microelectronic engineers of the time could not achieve.

Before Dexter’s work, other scientists had seen the possibility of nanotechnology being real in the future, and after him, engineers invented devices that transformed theories into reality.

Year Milestones in Nanotechnology
1959 R. Feynman initiated the thought process.
1974 Taniguchi used the term nanotechnology for the first time.
1981 IBM invented the Scanning Tunneling Microscope.
1985 “Bucky Ball”
1986 K. Eric Drexler published the first book on nanotechnology.
1989 IBM made its logo using individual atoms.
1991 S. Iijima discovered the Carbon Nanotube.
1999 R. Freitas published the 1st book on nano medicine.
2000 Launching of the National Nanotechnology Initiative.
2001 Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology was awarded for developing theory of nanometer-scale electronic devices and for synthesis and characterization of carbon nanotubes and nano wires.
2002 Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology was awarded for using DNA to enable the self-assembly of new structures and for advancing modeling molecular machine systems.
2003 Feynman Prize in Nanotechnolog was awarded for modeling the molecular and electronic structures of new materials and for integrating single molecule biological motors with nano-scale silicon devices.
2004 First policy conference on advanced nanotech was held. First center for nano mechanical systems was established, Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology was awarded for designing stable protein structures and for constructing a novel enzyme with an altered function.
2005-2010 Preparation of 3D Nano systems like robotics, 3D networking and active nano products that change their state during use.
2011 Era of molecular nano technology started.

Source: Nikalje A. P. (2015, p.82).

Before the 20th Century

Nanoporous ceramic filters were being used to separate viruses. Albert Einstein and Max Planck (1900 cited in Krukemeyer, Krenn, Huebner, Wagner, & Resch, 2015) produced evidence that there had to be a series of tiny particles that obeyed their own laws although there were no instruments at the time to make these elements visible.

20th Century

In 1902 Richard Zsigmondy and Henry Siedentopf developed an ultramicroscope that used ruby glasses to detect structures that were smaller than 4 nanometers (Krukemeyer et al., 2015). Zsigmondy created an immersion ultramicroscope in 1912 which investigated the behavior colloidal solutions. After that, scientists got better resolutions with the transmission electron microscope (TEM), the filed ion microscope (FIM), and the voltage clamp so that they were able to understand DNA and RNA by the 1960s (Krukemeyer et al., 2015). In 1980, Gerd Binnig and Heinrich Rohrer created the scanning tunneling microscope (STM), and future applications of their methods made it possible to demonstrate nanoscale structures accurately, and to position and manipulate them in a controlled manner (Krukemeyer et al., 2015). It opened up the possibilities of new scientific disciplines including nanomedicine.

By the time Drexler (1986) wrote his book, biochemists were using gene machines to write DNA tapes so they could direct cells and build designed proteins. However, they could not design chains that fold up to create proteins of the correct shape and function. Drexler (1986) believed the problem was that the scientists were focused on predicting the fold patterns of natural proteins instead of taking on an engineering challenge and designing proteins so they can fold predictably. He was certain that the protein-folding solution would allow biotechnologists to deal with individual atoms, which is central to nanotechnology.

Social Impact of Nanotechnology

There has been a lot of interest in nanotechnology and its applications since the idea was coined in 1959, and the investments that companies and countries put in the process are expected to increase drastically in future. Currently, carbon nanotubes and graphene are the most followed nanomaterials on Facebook, and most users are interested in the nanotechnology (58,188) and nanomedicine (5,366) pages (Sechi, Bedognetti, Sgarella, Van Eperen, Marincola, Bianco, & Delogu, 2014).

Graphene, carbon nanotubes, and quantum dots are the most liked nanomaterials on Facebook (2,683, 1,433, and 160), have the most number of groups on the site (16, 7, and 5), and the highest number of members in those groups (288, 414, and 170) respectively (Sechi et al. 2014). However, the public and international institutiona are concerned that nanomaterials have negative effects on the environment and human health so they advocate for industry regulations.

Campbell, Deane, and Murphy (2015) believe that people think of nanotechnology as a frontier culture, and that is why it has excited their cultural imagination. Since nanotechnology is being used in outfits, medicine, and numerous services, it affects everyone. Analyzing the development of nanotechnology in the society using Piaget’s theory of cognitive development:

Developmental Stage Nanotechnology
Sensorimotor stage Scientists learn about the basics ofnanotechnology, how to use the scanning tunneling microscope and they discover the first carbon nanotube as the pioneer authors on the topic publicize the concept (Nikalje, 2015).
Preoperational stage IBM create their logo using individual atoms, and the simplified feature help people to grasp the physical impact of nanotechnology and star building devices for storage, biosensors, and computer chips (IBM, 2009).
Concrete operations Nanotechnologists realize that they can implement the new technology in both the service and product industries like food nutrition, social security, renewable energy, quality education, communications, neuromedicine, health care services, and advertising (Aithal & Aithal, 2016).
Formal operations Scientists play the first nano guitar even though its sound cannot be conceived by the human ear, and create usable revolutionary sports equipment and outfits, and successful drug delivery systems used to treat neurodegenerative disorders (PRI, 2014, McNamee, 2011, Taylor, 2008, Nikalje, 2015).

Table 1: Analysis of nanotechnology’s development using Piaget’s theory.

Cultural Impact of Nanotechnology

According to a report published by Seear, Petersen, and Bowman (2009), between 1997 and 2004, the United States of America spent more than the European Union (EU) did on R&D for nanotechnology. In 2004 alone, the US spent $1 billion more than EU countries, and America leads in the field since it has world class universities that pioneer research. For example, the first nano guitar was built at Cornell University, New York in 1997 (McNamee, 2011), and in 2015, researchers at Berkeley Lab US developed an ultra-thin invisibility cloak which hides 3D objects from detection (Dockrill, 2015). Words that were introduced into the English language through such research include nanoparticles, bionanotechnology, and silver nanoparticles, and artists and musical groups were using variations of these terms on Facebook (Sechi et al. 2014).

In 1989 when Don Eigler and his team at IBM realized that they could use the scanning tunneling microscope (STM) to arrange individual atoms on a surface with precision, Eigler used 35 xenon atoms to write the company logo (IBM, 2009). The exercise was a nanoscience and technology breakthrough, so IBM took some credit for Eigler’s work and the invention of the STM, as its scientists continued working on more nanotechnology inventions (IBM, 2009).

The images of this logo taken by Eigler pioneered the work of California-based scientist and artist Cris Orfescu who uses a scanning electron microscope to get nanoscale images of landscapes he calls ‘nanoart’ (PRI, 2014). Orfescu prints these electron scans on canvas and uses the creations to inform people about nanotechnology in the 21st Century while using his online nanoart contest to encourage nanotechnologists to embrace the new science as an art form (Feder, 2008).

Engineering Professor at Michigan University, John Hart, used 150 million vertically positioned carbon nanotubes to create each face in this image called Nanobama in 2008. (PRI, 2014)

Nanotechnology has also been used to design ultra-lightweight swimwear that absorbs water to only 2% of fabric weight compared to previous materials which absorbed 50%, and to create tennis racquets that are 22% more powerful than conventional ones, and twice as stable (Taylor, 2008). Nanotechnology helps designers to make athletic shoes since they are able to use molecular-sized particles to achieve maximum durability and comfort. During the 2008 Olympic Games, Jeremy Wariner used such a shoe designed by Adidas, and it was called ‘Lone Star spike’ because it was said to provide Wariner with increased flexibility, safety, better torsion, comfort, and more stability even as it reduced energy loss (Taylor, 2008).

Economic Impact

The industries that are utilizing nanotechnology include food, drinking water, energy, cosmetics, medicine, sport, automobiles, construction, banking, mass communication, retailing, hospitality, and entertainment (Aithal & Aithal, 2016). With the increase in the nanotechnology patents applied for in different industries across the world, it is expected that the StatNano database will expand substantially over the next five years.

Global Value of nanomaterials, pessimistic view (a) and optimistic view (b) (USD billion)

Source: Inshakova & Inshakov, 2017

According to this data published by Inshakova and Inshakov (2017) shows that NN-related publications have increased from 16,397 in 2000 to 128,436 in 2014. Both developed and developing industries are participating in the development of nanotechnological applications, with China leading (233,250) in the number of articles it has published between 2000 and 2014, followed by the USA (201, 203), and then Japan (81,516) (Inshakova & Inshakov, 2017). This number also indicates the amount of resources that these countries are dedicating to the advance of nanotechnology in their respective areas, and their willingness to regulate the industry while taking advantage of the opportunities available in science.

Nanotechnology Environmental and Political Impact

The development of specific applications for each field in the business world has made it easier for regulators to measure the actual effect that nanotechnology has in different areas. The industrial prototyping and commercialization of nanotechnology started back in 2000 with the first generation nanostructures being passive, the second generation being active, the third generation being systems, and the fourth generation being molecular nanosystems (Seear, Petersen, & Bowman, 2009).

By 2008, analysts had not yet seen the harmful effects that would have arisen due to exposure to nanotechnology in terms of ecological damage or harm to humans (Seear, Petersen, & Bowman, 2009). However, they were of the opinion that it is best to address the expected risks of nanotechnology by tightening the regulations that govern nanotechnology and its applications across the globe. Those who participated in the study held by Sechi et al. (2014) also felt that it would be safer for the environment if the international community came together to ensure that governments did not create anything related to nanotechnology that will endanger people and their surroundings.


Aithal, P. S., & Aithal, S. (2016). Business Strategy for Nanotechnology based Products and Services. Munich Personal RePEc Archive, MPRA Paper No. 71766.

Dockrill, P. (2015). Watch: Nano:sized invisibility cloak can make small objects disappear. Science Alert.

IBM (2009). IBM celebrates 20th anniversary of moving atoms. IBM News Releases.

Inshakova, E., & Inshakov, O. (2017). World market for nanomaterials: structure and trends. In MATEC Web of Conferences (Vol. 129, p. 02013). EDP Sciences.

McNamee, D. (2011). Hey, what’s that sound: Nano guitar. The Guardian.

PRI (2014). Scientists are becoming artists, thanks to ‘NanoArt’. Public Radio International.

Sechi, G., Bedognetti, D., Sgarrella, F., Van Eperen, L., Marincola, F. M., Bianco, A., & Delogu, L. G. (2014). The perception of nanotechnology and nanomedicine: a worldwide social media study. Nanomedicine9(10), 1475-1486.

Seear, K., Petersen, A., & Bowman, D. (2009). The social and economic impacts of nanotechnologies: A literature review. Final Report Prepared for the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Monash University Victoria, Australia. Taylor, D. (2008). Nanotechnology in sports. EE453 Project Report.

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Basic Cognitive Neuroscience Diseases

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Dissertation CBT Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

Dissertation – A Critical Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Cognitive Behaviour Therapies for Children and Adolescents with Anxiety Disorders

Research into the effectiveness of cognitive behavioural therapy for anxiety disorders has previously mainly focused on adults. However, there has been an increase of research into the effectiveness of cognitive behaviour therapy for children and adolescents, albeit studies remain scarce. This dissertation aims to examine the effectiveness of cognitive behavioural therapies available to children and adolescents with anxiety disorders.

This critical literature review analyses the available literature, offering a critical evaluation of the most used forms of cognitive behaviour therapy: group and family cognitive behavioural therapy, individual cognitive behavioural therapy and computerised cognitive behavioural therapy.

Dissertation CBT Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
Dissertation CBT Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

Furthermore, this research outlines a range of key findings, identifying numerous difficulties found in treating children and adolescents with anxiety disorders as well as considering what is needed for cognitive behaviour therapy to be effective. Some of the issues found to affect the overall effectiveness of cognitive behaviour therapy include non-compliance, parental involvement, drop-out and the strength of the therapeutic relationship. The main conclusions propose that cognitive behavioural therapies for children and adolescents with anxiety disorders are effective from the outset, but upon further analysis, may not be as effective as many professionals suggest.

The aim of this dissertation is to examine the effectiveness of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) in children and adolescents with anxiety disorders. Through carrying out an extensive literature review using secondary data, this piece of research will gather and critically analyse evidence for and against the effectiveness of cognitive behaviour therapy for children and young people with anxiety disorders.

More specifically, this dissertation will critically analyse the effectiveness of the most widely used forms of CBT: family and group based cognitive behaviour therapy, individual cognitive behaviour therapy and computerised cognitive behaviour therapy. A comparison between approaches will be made in the discussion whereby suggestions will be made upon which form of CBT is the most effective for children and adolescents with anxiety disorders.

Dissertation Contents

1 – Introduction
Research Aims

2 – Methodology
Ethical Issues
Methodological Issues
Secondary Data Sources

3 – History and Development of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Children and Young People with Anxiety

4 – Family and Group Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Group Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in Schools
Family Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

5 – Individual Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Cognitive Techniques
Behavioural Techniques
Therapeutic Relationship
Drop-out Rates and Homework Compliance

6 – Computerised Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
BRAVE Online and Camp Cope-A-Lot
Compliance with Programs
Therapist Involvement

7 – A Comparison between Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Approaches
Similarities Between Approaches
Differences Between Approaches

8 – Conclusions and Future Recommendations



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Conquering Dyslexia Dissertation

Beneficial Methods for Conquering Dyslexia

This paper considers the treatments that work most effectively for teaching people with dyslexia how to read confidently. I will begin by reviewing the background of dyslexia. Relying heavily on sources I surveyed, I will briefly explore the benefits of early intervention while providing hope of treatment for those the system already failed. Finally, I will examine treatments that successfully aid young dyslexics in conquering their disease and suggest implementing these in all kindergarten classes.

Introduction and Diagnosis

Dyslexia is a major problem for many children who desire to read but cannot break the reading code. Peer pressure that results from the inability to decipher words into speech can even lead third graders to contemplate suicide (Berninger, 2000, p 183). Yet, Shaywitz estimates twenty percent of all school age children have the disorder. Sadly, in the same experiment she discovered only one-third of these children were in special education programs (Shaywitz, 2004, p 30). Every child who desires to read has the right to learn; however, many children on the edge of reading disabilities never receive remedial treatment until they fail multiple times. While the older dyslexic has the ability to conquer the disease, intervention at earlier ages is more effective and saves the child from stigmatization.

Although early diagnosis is a key factor in recovery, many disagree on how to identify children with the disability (Scruggs, T., Mastropieri, M., 2002; Stanovich, K., 2005). This delays treatment, reducing the chances of remediating the child to fluent reading. Intelligence tests and multiple years of academic failure are the most widely used methods of diagnosing dyslexia, but lead to widespread over- and under- diagnosis (Scruggs, T., Mastropieri, M., 2002). Genetic research is more accurate, but it is an expensive method of identification. However, researchers have not identified all the genes responsible for dyslexia. Additionally, while genetic influence exists (Taipale, M., Kaminen, N., Nopola-Hemmi, J., Haltia, T., Hannula-Jouppi, K., Kere, J., 2003), twin studies show it is not a determining factor as to whether or not a child will develop dyslexia (Shaywitz, 2004, p 99), and children without any genetic markers develop the disease from poor instruction.

MRI imaging is one of the most accurate diagnostic tools, but it also is costly and only available to researchers. It allows one to see which areas of the brain are active during language processing. The pictures clearly show the difference between those who have broken the code, dyslexics and dyslexics that have compensated for the disease. However, the benefit of an accurate diagnosis does not outweigh the cost in time and money of performing the test.

When children are unruly in class or difficult to teach, teachers often refer them for testing. Shaywitz points out the large percentage of boys diagnosed with dyslexia while very few girls receive this identification. Her reassessment of children in several schools found the number of boys was actually equal to the number of girls (Shaywitz, 2004, p 32). This creates more of a problem by placing children in classes where they will bore easily or by leaving children in classes that do not meet their needs.

Dyslexia Dissertation
Dyslexia Dissertation

In addition to under- and over- diagnosis, one also finds the problems of late diagnosis and not seeing the need for diagnosis. Some believe students must be over the age of eight before a proper identification of dyslexia is possible. Shaywitz argues that between four and five are the ideal ages for intervention. Conflicts arise over whether the learning disabled label will brand the child for life with a negative image, or whether the child will be allowed to fall through the cracks once labeled as dyslexic.

The school told the mother of a girl I once tutored that she should not have her child tested to eliminate the possibility of the child being stuck with the label. Additionally, because dyslexics and average readers learn on the same curve, some in education still assert children outgrow the disease or that there is no reason to change the child’s current reading program. While it is true that the curve is similar and dyslexics even make a slight gain on their peers, dyslexics always score far below good readers (Shaywitz, 2004, p 34).

Important Terms

Before addressing the question of how to solve the problems of diagnosis and treatment, we must first explore some terms common in dyslexia. The term as defined by the International Dyslexia Association is:

Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge (August, 2002).

The phoneme is “the smallest unit of speech that distinguishes one word forms another” (Shaywitz, 2004, p 41). The phonological module is “the functional part of the brain where sounds of language are put together to form words and where words are broken down into their elemental sounds” (Shaywitz, 2004, p 40). Because the major problem with dyslexia is a breakdown in the ability to recognize phonemes contained in words, these terms are all important to any discussion of the disease.

If dyslexia is a breakdown in the ability to distinguish phonemes, it logically follows that increasing the amount and quality of phonemic instruction will aid the child in overcoming the disease. Parents and educators must realize the need for intervention and actively pursue it. Important to consider are the dyslexic’s developmental age at the time they begin supplemental instruction. Equally as important is to develop a program that focuses on the child’s strengths and interests.

To begin to aid a child in understanding the relationship between sounds and words, one must introduce the child to the sounds of language. Books filled with rhyme and alliteration such as Chicka Chicka Boom Boom or One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish are excellent choices (Shaywitz, 2004, p177 – 182). After spending time reading these books for pleasure, it is important for the teacher or parent to draw attention to which words rhyme and what rhyme is. They should have the child think of other words that begin or end in the same way. Children need to realize that words are related through sound before identifying that those sounds are represented alphabetically. All elementary teachers should spend time each day reading to their students just as parents should spend time each day reading to their children. Connecting words we speak to the phonemes that create them is essential to all readers.

Once the child can rhyme, the program must begin to help the child break words into all their sounds. Beginning with two sound words like key, bee, or it, the educator can teach the child to break the words into their respective phonemic units. Introductory work on syllables can begin. After the child realizes that words separate into smaller parts, the adult may teach three sound words like cat, seat, or call. At the same time, it will be useful to reinforce what the child already learned by asking questions like “What do you get if you put the /s/ sound in front of the word key?” or “What does /m/… /o/ …/m/ make?” All these things build phonemic awareness and are useful to all children learning to read.

Once the child has a basic understanding of phonemes, the instructor should introduce decodable texts that use relatively few phonemes to create stories. These books, such as the “Bob Book” series, slowly build confidence in the child’s reading ability. As the child begins to enjoy their ability to read, new books and sight words should be introduced. Sight words must be memorized. Children can make their own flashcards with words like is, are, was, one, and two. This allows them to read and write the word.

The child must practice writing to build legible handwriting and further establish phonemic awareness. Practice is the only way to learn. The more a child practices making letters correctly and sounding out words on paper, the better the child will become at it. All children should be given many chances even at the beginning of kindergarten to practice writing. Word cards with tracing paper clipped to them will aid in early instruction. In writing, having the child practice forming the letters correctly should be stressed. Allowing children to write four pages of a’s (for example) backward is not as useful as having the child trace one page of the letters correctly.

By the end of kindergarten, children should be practicing spelling skills. While children at this level should not be expected to spell well, invented spelling is an important step on the road to recognizing the phonemic roots of words. The more chances children are given to attempt to sound words out for themselves, the more they will master breaking words apart into their letters, and in return, the better ability they will have to decode written words.

As with all kindergarten children, teachers need to read enjoyable books and surround children with literacy. When children recognize the joy of reading, they desire to read. When teachers and parents read to children, they encourage larger vocabularies. Children who know the meaning of words like “ink” will have a better time decoding it when they come across it in texts they are reading (Shaywitz, 2004, p192).

Finally, it is important for children to develop self-confidence. Children should make progress as they go through an intensive phonics program. Tests can be performed to make sure they understand what was taught, but tests are teaching tools that evaluate teachers not students. When a student does not understand something, it should cue the teacher to reintroduce it in a new way. Additionally, children should not repeat a grade if they have failed to decode reading by the end of kindergarten (Shaywitz, 2004, p196).


Many teachers will look at the plan for educating dyslexic kindergarteners and think, “That is what I do for my class already.” This is because what Shaywitz proposes is an intensive phonics program. Others like Beringer (2000) utilize the same style of reading program to teach dyslexics. The two major differences between intervention reading and a standard kindergarten program are that many kindergarten programs try rushing phonics training and that intervention work is created around a theme of interest among the students.

Implementing this program for all kindergarten students would not lower the education they receive. However, if all schools focused on intensive phonics training for their kindergarten students, dyslexia could be conquered without extensive testing to discover which children have the disorder. When schools use tests to evaluate what they need to teach instead of how well students are learning, they can resolve many learning issues. Some may argue that children without learning disabilities will become bored with intensive learning, but often the children that learn to read too quickly develop other learning problems later on that could be corrected by skills learned from intensive phoneme training (Shaywitz, 2004, p196).

While dyslexia is a major problem that needs to be addressed, it can easily be eliminated from the classroom. Shaywitz and others have show through MRI’s that even dyslexics can conquer the disease and rewire their brains if they are instructed in intensive phonemic awareness. Because of the difficulty in recognizing the disease early and intervening, it is imperative schools adapt an aggressive stance on this learning disorder.


Berninger, V.W. (2000). Dyslexia the Invisible, Treatable Disorder: The Story of Einstein’s Ninja Turtles. Learning Disability Quarterly, 23(3), 175-195

Glenn, H.W. (1975). The Myth of the Label Learning Disabled Child. The Elementary School Journal, 75(6), 357-361

Lyon, G.R. (August 2002). International Dyslexic Association. Washington, D.C.

Scruggs, T.E., Mastropieri, M.A. (2002). On Babies and Bathwater: Addressing the Problems of Identification of Learning Disabilities. Learning Disability Quarterly, 25(3), 155-168.

Shaywitz, S. (2003). Overcoming Dyslexia. New York: Knopf. Qtd. Lyon

Stanovich, K.E. (2005). The Future of a Mistake: Will Discrepancy Measurement Continue to Make the Learning Disabilities Field a Pseudoscience?  Learning Disability Quarterly, 28(2), 103-106.

Taipale, M., Kaminen, N., Nopola-Hemmi, J., Haltia, T., Mylltluoma, B., Lyytinen,

H., Muller, K., Kaaranen, M., Lindsberg, P.J., Hannula-Jouppi, K., Kere, J. (2003). A Candidate Gene for Developmental Dyslexia Encodes a Nuclear Tetratricopeptide Repeat Domain Protein Dynamically Regulated in Brain. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 100(20), 11553-11558.

Temple, E., Deutsch, G.K., Poldrack, R.A., Miller, S.L., Taillal, P., Merzenich, M.M., Gabrieli, J.D.E. (2003). Neural Deficits in Children with Dyslexia Ameliorated by Behavior Remediation: Evidence from Functional MRI. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 100(5), 2860-2865

Torgesen, J.K., Wagner, R.K., Simmons, K., Laughon, P. (1990). Identifying Phonological Coding Problems in Disabled Readers: Namin, Counting, or Span Measures? Learning Disability Quarterly, 13(4), 236-243

Dyslexia Dissertation

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Eating Habits Adult BMI

Health Studies Dissertation Examination of Eating Habits That Affect Adult BMI

The dissertation will determine whether or not there is a close relationship between the identified dependent (i.e. the adult students’ actual BMI level) and independent variables (i.e. the habit of eating in fast food restaurants, adult students’ wealth or disposable income, and heavy marketing activities and advertisements on fast food logo/brand).

The dissertation accurately determine whether or not there a close relationship between the identified dependent (i.e. the adult students’ actual BMI level) and independent variables (i.e. habit of eating in fast food restaurants, the adult students’ disposable income or wealth, and heavy marketing activities and advertisements on fast food logo/brand), a total of 50 adult students will be invited to participate in the actual quantitative research study.

After requiring each of the 50 research participants to complete the research survey questionnaire, the researcher will gather and analyse the gathered data. As such, a regression analysis was performed in this study. Some of the quantitative data was analysed based on multiple regression, R Square (R2), t stat, P-values, and significance F values. Regression analysis result shows no direct relationship between increase in the adult students’ BMI level and factors such as the habit of eating in fast food restaurants, the adult students’ wealth or disposable income, and heavy marketing activities and advertisements on fast food logo or brand.

Adult BMI
Adult BMI

Adult BMI Dissertation Objectives

The main objective of this study is to examine the perception of students with regards to the relationship between the identified dependent and independent variables. In this study, independent variables include habit of eating in fast food restaurants, adult students’ wealth or disposable income, and heavy marketing activities and advertisements on fast food logo or brand whereas dependent variable is the adult students’ actual BMI. Based on the students’ perception, is there a close relationship between the identified dependent and independent variables? As such, this study will focus on testing the following research hypotheses:

  • H1 = There is a relationship between the students’ actual BMI and the adult students’ wealth or disposable income
  • H2 = There is a relationship between the students’ actual BMI and heavy marketing activities and advertisements on fast food logo or brand
  • H3 = There is a relationship between the students’ actual BMI and the habit of eating in fast food restaurants.

Becoming overweight and obese can lead to the development of controllable diseases. Therefore, it is necessary to continuously examine and identify all factors that can contribute the increase in the student’s weight and adult BMI level. The adult students’ increase in adult BMI level is highly dependent on so many factors. Poor eating habits, sedentary lifestyle, and poor socio-economic factors such as low income could increase a person’s risks of becoming obese.

It appears that the coupling between energy intake and energy expenditure is at the heart of the obesity epidemic, both of which are greatly influenced by psycho-social factors and the environment in which we live and work. Currently the evidence points to changes in the level of physical activity and food system, which is producing more processed, affordable, and effectively marketed high-energy food. These changes in my opinion have led to a positive energy balance causing the obesity epidemic. Policies that encourage and promote physical activities and a change towards healthier food are needed to reverse the epidemic.

Dissertation Contents

1 – Introduction
Background on Obesity and BMI
Statement of the Problem
Purpose of the Proposed Investigation
Research Objectives
Research Questions and Hypotheses

2 – Literature Review
General Information about BMI
Significance of Race and Ethnicity in the Accuracy of BMI
Impact of Fast Food on BMI
Other Factors that Can Affect Changes in a Person’s BMI

3 – Research Methodology
Primary Research Study Design
Data Collection Tools
Sample and Population of Research Participants
Data Analysis
Research Ethics

4 – Research Findings and Discussion
Research Findings
Demographic Profile of Research Respondents
BMI Level
Eating Health and Well-Balanced Food
Lifestyle and Physical Activities
Budget Allocation for Fast Food Restaurants
Common Reasons for Eating in Fast Food Restaurants
Adult Students’ Perception of the Given Statements
Relationship between Dependent and Independent Variables

5 – Conclusion and Recommendations
Recommendations for Future Research Study


Appendix Section

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Diversity Adaptation Inclusion Nursing Education

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Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism Spectrum Disorder

A person may never realise of his/her gift unless he/she sees a person who lacks a certain normal ability. Autism is an in-born condition that can occur to any child. Autism refers a group of complex disorders associated with brain development (Heather, 2010). The main characterizations of these disorders are difficulties in social interaction, communication (both verbal and nonverbal) and repetitive behaviours. Autism has many sub-types that are closely associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder (Jeri, 2009). Autism Spectrum Disorder is associated with intellectual disabilities and motor coordination difficulties. Autism Spectrum Disorder has also been associated with some cases of gastrointestinal and sleep disturbances. This paper is dedicated to exploring all aspects of this disorder.

A few years ago it was not well known about the causes of this condition. This prompted the need for research, and consequently a logical explanation can be given at the causes of this condition. Generally, there is no cause of autism. Genetic studies have revealed that in autistic people, there are rare genes changes, simply mutant genes. The number of these genes in an individual determines the extent of autism in that person. It is the combination of these genes and environmental factors that are responsible for causing most cases of this disorder. It is usually during early brain development that environmental factors are able to impact largely on the condition and this makes autistic people resistant to change.

In addition to environmental factors, non-genetic stresses also appear to contribute to the risk of a child’s autism. Factors such as the parents’ advanced age, birth difficulties particularly those that deprive oxygen to the brain and mother’s illness during pregnancy may contribute to some degree. These factors do not pose the threat of autism. It is the presence of the mutant genes in the presence of these factors that are responsible for higher risks of autism (Heather, 2010). A recent research showed that birth of autistic children can be reduced by administering prenatal vitamins that contain folic acid or the woman should eat at least 600mcg of folic acid in diet during the preconception and post conception period (Jeri, 2009).

The Spectrum

Autism varies among different individuals and each case is unique. Majority of those on the autism spectrum have shown remarkable abilities in academic skills, visual skills and music. About 40 percent of autistics have less than 70 score in IQ, and as such they can be termed as intellectually disabled (Simon and Patrick, 1993). Many people on the spectrum are proud of the extraordinary abilities and normal perspective of viewing world issues. Others experience high levels of autism and they are unable to leave on their own. About a quarter of all autistics are unable to speak, but they can learn by subjecting to the necessary medications and therapies (Simon and Patrick, 1993).

Autism is one of the largest disabilities to affect children, and it is estimated that five in every ten thousand births are autistic. Autistics vary in different ways and degrees. The condition is noticeable by age 3 even though from birth a child may indicate signs of autism. An autistic child may show discomfort when being held, resists affection and arches back more than a normal child. Most of The autistic children are easy to parent until they start showing difficulties in social skills and communication that the parents realize the variation (Simon and Patrick, 1993).

In diagnosing the condition, the DSM-IV (the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder-4th Edition) is used (Simon and Patrick, 1993). This is a text that is psychologically tailored to identify the varying degrees of autism. I mainly focus on pervasive developmental disorders also has autism. In the autism diagnosis, six symptoms from three key areas: social skills, communication and repetitive behaviours must be noticeable before age 3 (Heather, 2010). There must be at least 2 symptoms associated with social skills and at least one in communication and repetitive behaviour.

Characteristics of people with autism may include resistance to touching, pain insensitivity, cold and heat insensitivity, self-induced behaviours, unexplained reactions such as weeping or laughing for no reason and emotional unawareness. Autistic people may do what a normal person fears such as diving in a cold pool of water. Self-induced behaviours are defined as repetitive movements of an object. These behaviours can be divided into five senses. A person with autism finds it hard to understand other people’s feelings. Their ability to empathize with others is feeble than that of normal people. Autistics conversation is not engaging. Of course, a person may talk about an idea or thought, but there is less exchanging than if the conversation was held between two normal people (Simon and Patrick, 1993).

Autism Spectrum Disorder
Autism Spectrum Disorder

Visual self-stimulatory is the first sense, and individuals tend to stare at lights and flapping hands. Flapping of hands, in most cases results in self-injuries behaviour or injurious behaviour towards other people. It should be noted that behaviours vary and that hand flapping does not necessarily precede violence. Auditory behaviours vary from tapping of the ears to making of senseless noises (Allison). The most common of this is the vocal noises made by autistics during times of extreme excitement of fear. Tactile stimulation is also common in autistics, and it is common to find autistics scratching, rubbing objects with hands and even rubbing skin (Allison). Most of these behaviours are performed for pleasure or to overcome cases of anxiety or excitement. It may be difficult to differentiate between self-stimulatory and self-injurious behaviours since the two may overlap. Self-injurious behaviours include head-banging, scratching to the point of bleeding and hand-biting. Since some of the autistic people may be insensitive to the pain, they may injure themselves in the process of trying to calm themselves from anxiety or excitement. Autism characteristics are universal but differ among individuals. However, the diagnosis guidelines are different across the globe depending on the country.

There are treatments that have shown success in dealing with the disorder. Since the condition varies among individuals, medicines prescribed for one individual may fail to work for a different person. Therapies such as Anti-yeast therapy, food supplements and Dimethyglycine aid in healing of the disorder. These are administered to help modify the behaviour of an autistic. There is also a Japanese program that focuses on the individuals around an autistic person and the roles that they should play to moderate his or her behaviour. Other therapies include Facilitated Communication and Mega-Vitamin Theory (Jeri, 2009).

Dr. Bernard Rimland conducted a research on the effect of vitamins in dealing with the condition, and he concluded that vitamin B6 was effective in dealing with over forty percent of the cases. This is after parents to autistic children noted that some foods made a difference in their children. The vitamin generally improves behaviours in speech, decreases self-stimulatory behaviours, sleeping patterns and attention span. This treatment takes two to three months for any observable changes. It has been noted that after application of the vitamin, children who previously could not pay attention during an address by either teachers or parents they are able to listen keenly and even follow instructions (Jeri, 2009).

Facilitated communication involves giving help to an autistic individual to express him/herself via some object such as typewriter or board once given physical support to an arm or a finger. Even though there is a facilitator, it is the autistic individual who types since he or she is intelligent. Autistic individuals may express anger through this means since they may be aware of all that is happening to them, but they cannot express their feelings and thoughts. This method is tailored to enables autistic individuals to emotionally and cognitively bring out them.

Since this condition has no sound cause, varying characteristics and varying medications, it is still a mystery to many people.

Myths about Autism

Autism can be cured. All the above named therapies help autistics develop social, and communication skills, but they cannot treat the core symptoms of the disorder. All they do is reducing problematic behaviours such injurious behaviours.

Autism is caused by vaccines. There is no scientific link between vaccines and autism. This perception came about after a scientific paper wrongly linked vaccines and autism, but there is no evidence of this claim. Childhood immunizations are meant to help reduce the risks of conducting childhood diseases such as Polio.

Unfriendly parents may cause autism. It is true that non-genetic factors and environmental factors may contribute to the degree of autism, but these on their own cannot cause the condition. The condition is as genetic mutation.

Occurrence of an Autism Epidemic

The current high numbers of autistics may be attributed to the increased public awareness or even redefinition of the term autism. As such, one cannot claim that there is an epidemic related to this disorder.

Autism leads to improved math ability and memorization. Stories about autistic individuals being highly gifted in memory are untrue and baseless. Autistics do not show extraordinary math ability however children with Autism Spectrum Disorder may exhibit intense interests in a particular subject and as a result has a lot of information regarding that subject.

Autistics have no emotions. This is quite untrue as the condition is characterized by the inability to express thoughts and feelings, and so it should not be assumed that they don’t have emotions (Myths about Autism, 2013).


Autism is a developmental and lifelong disability. The characteristics of the disorder vary among different individuals. There is no single identified cause for autism, and this makes this disorder a mystery. The theoretical causes that include genetic mutation prove that this disorder may truly be a disability. With available treatments, it has been shown those that suffer from this condition may be modified but not cured. High doses of vitamin B6 and other therapies such as Facilitated Communication may allow autistic individuals a chance to express themselves without frustration due to the inability to communicate. Autistic individuals as well as parents to autistic children need to be supported and accorded help as they really need it. This is due to the fact that for every individual born normal, it is by chance, and there is no guarantee for normal birth.

Work Cited

Baron-Cohen, Simon, and Patrick Bolton (1993) Autism: The Facts. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Freedman, Jeri. Autism Spectrum Disorder (2009) New York, NY: Rosen Pub.

Heather B. Autism. (2010) New York, NY: Chelsea House.

Child Mind Institute (2013) “Myths about Autism Spectrum Disorder” Oxford.

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