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The following is a basic, easy-to-use noding format that can be used for creating writeups on diseases and other human dysfunctions. It should allow you to present the information in a style similar to that used by informational medicine websites, books on medicine, etc. and allow for maximum comprehensiveness and legitimacy.
You are not by any means expected to use this format, but I strongly recommend it. Easy-to-find and easy-to-understand information is of the extreme essence here--no one wants to have to dig too much for info, or get used to a different way of looking at information if they're used to looking at it a certain way.
Remember, disorders, etc. act in very complex ways and manifest in many different forms. Encompassing a good deal of the information on such a topic calls for a lot of classification, outlining, etc.-- essentially, breaking each element of your writeup into many different categories. Just remember to ask yourself: How many writeups am I really creating here?
Naming Your Writeup
In order for people to read your writeup, people must first be able to find your writeup. This means creating a title for your piece that would be familiar to someone doing a search for the disease in question; for example, if you're noding Huntington's disease, it will do little good to title your node an obscure Latin name that would only be familiar to hardened doctors. Name it Huntington's disease.
the <p> tag is your friend. Be sure to include a fair amount of whitespace between your categories, and title them with large text. <H3> is probably the best format to use for category titles--it makes them easy to spot and differentiate from the body text without swelling them so large that they make the body text appear insignificant.
Linking in a medical writeup is pretty easy business. It's a good idea, for the sake of simplicity, to stick to linking terms related to the disease in question and/or human anatomy in general. Link organs, the name of a field of medicine or a specialist therein (e.g. ophthalmology, surgeon). Create a solid softlink table, including both similar conditions and organs affected by the disease you're noding.
Now for the Writeup Itself...
The Introductory Section
Including an introductory section is a good way to give a basic overview of the disease you're working with. You might outline what kind of disease it is (viral, bacterial, genetic, etc.) and perhaps give a brief rundown of the symptoms. Provide some history while you're at it.
A disease might affect an individual in several different ways, play off the physiology of unique individuals with different results, or be brought on with the same symptoms under many different possible circumstances. Many conditions have sub-classifications that should be outlined and explicated. For example, a childhood case of chicken pox is very different from adult-onset chicken pox. In a chicken pox node, it would be a good idea to explain those differences and why they exist.
Here you would list and explain the ways in which the disease would affect an infected person. Tell us how long symptoms take to show up, the likelihood of each, and/or common combinations of symptoms that are likely to occur in one case.
Tell us who gets the disease. Tell us how many women are affected, how many men, at what age, under what circumstances. Breast cancer is most likely to affect women over the age of 40; other diseases work the same way.
Tell us what tests, etc. doctors use in diagnosing the disease. Do they use blood tests, biopsies, CAT scans, or something else entirely? Most diseases can be diagnosed in several ways--tell us about them.
Explain how the disease behaves during its time in the body. What's the normal course of events? What would happen without treatment?
Include the outlook for a person who has the disease you're noding. Is it Good? Bad? Better now with newer medications? Do people always recover from it? Or is it a chronic disorder?
Here, tell us what doctors do to help treat or cure a disease. Tell us if it's through physical therapy, drugs, surgery, etc. The vast majority of the time there are several different ways to treat a disease--tell us which is most commonly used, which is most likely to work, the degree of severity in the disease that calls for each, what type of person each method can be used on, etc. etc.
Tell us about any advancements in the fight against the disease, and any pending breakthroughs. What new methods are on the horizon? How are they being found?
This goes without saying
If you have been afflicted with the disease you're noding, your personal experience will be an asset to helping others understand the condition in question. The facts you give will become just that more valuable and understandable, not to mention that others with the disease (or who have also had it at some point) will be able to relate to your experiences and perhaps build upon them further.
And finally ...
At the end of your writeup, it's always a good idea to include other sources of information. If there is a foundation in place for sufferers of the disease, include the name, address, phone number/fax at which it can be reached, and/or URLs that lead to its website (if it has one, which it likely does).Thanks go to Bitriot.