Welcome to our Alcohol-Related Brain Damage Wales website. Here you will find information about the condition, our research on the topic and information about our training programme.
Alcohol-Related Brain Damage (ARBD) is a term used to describe a spectrum of conditions that are caused by chronic and excessive alcohol use and associated nutritional deficiencies. These conditions are characterised by cognitive impairments, meaning that there are problems with thinking, processing, and memory. Click on the About ARBD section if you'd like to find out more.
Researchers at the University of South Wales have been working in collaboration with The Pobl Group to conduct research and understand more about the prevalence, assessment, and care of those with ARBD. Now, an evidence-based training programme for ARBD has been developed which has been endorsed by The Royal College of Psychiatrists in Wales.
Importantly, ARBD can be treated and those with the condition can see improvements, unlike those with dementia. The earlier the condition is recognised and treated, the better the outcomes are likely to be.
Our aim is to increase awareness of ARBD and conduct research to improve understanding and outcomes for those with the condition. To learn more about our evidence-based training programme on ARBD, see our training section.
We have several past and ongoing research projects on ARBD. See more about these projects by taking a look at our About Us section, or feel free to get in touch if you would like to know more.
How many people have ARBD?
It is hard to know exactly how many people have the condition, especially as people may go unnoticed, especially if they only have mild symptoms.
How can I identify someone?
There are some key signs and symptoms that might help you recognise if someone might have ARBD. Spotting the condition early will help get the right treatment.
What can I do to help?
If you have a friend, family member or work with someone who might have ARBD or may be at risk of ARBD, here are some ways that you might be able to help.
Alcohol Use in Wales
Alcohol is the second most widely used drug, only second after caffeine and it is used throughout societies. There is a considerable proportion of people who frequently use alcohol in the UK with 47% of the population reported to use alcohol on a weekly basis in Wales.
Although there are safe levels of alcohol consumption, 18% of the population in Wales self-report drinking alcohol at hazardous levels, which is defined as consuming more than 14 units per week. Of those drinking at hazardous or harmful levels, these drinkers accounted for 68% of all alcohol consumed in Wales between 2018-2019. The 2% of the population who consumed alcohol at the most harmful levels during this period accounted for 23% of the overall consumption of alcohol.
Alcohol is also a major cause of illness and death in Wales. Statistics for Wales show that around 1 out of every 20 death are attributable to alcohol.
Assessment and Diagnosis
Idenfifying those who may have ARBD or who are at risk of developing ARBD is important to ensuring that they are assessed promptly and can receive treatment and management of their condition as soon as possible. There are a number of tools thtat can be used to assess and diagnose ARBD.
Research suggests that if individuals with ARBD receive appropriate treatment, the condition can be successfully treated and the outlook for these individuals can be promising. There are a number of stages in the treatment of ARBD from actue care through to long-term rehabilitation.
Those with ARBD will likely receive support from a number of specialists and services. This care package should follow a care pathway with planning for longer-term care including maintaining a suitable diet, abstinence from alcohol and relapse prevention.
A series of training materials have been developed by researchers at the University of South Wales in collaboration with the Pobl Group to provide an understanding of ARBD, which include a range of handbooks that are suitable for a range of individuals and specialists. For a brief summary of the findings of the project, see the Infographic and the Information Leaflet. For more detailed information, see the handbooks below. A list of further resources and sources of information are also listed in the Further Resources section.