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UK’s drinking culture leads to increase in alcohol related brain damage

The number of people with alcohol related brain damage is on the increase in the UK. Researchers, policymakers and practitioners will probe this rise at a conference to be held at the University of Stirling. The event, chaired by Richard Simpson MSP, will take place at the Dementia Services Development Centre on Tuesday 20 November.

Professor June Andrews, Director of DSDC said: “Alcohol related brain damage is the only preventable dementia and it is on the rise. Women are drinking more and everyone is drinking more at an earlier age. Unless we do something about this soon, we will be in serious trouble and there will not be enough care homes for all the middle aged people who have damaged themselves and have to be institutionalised.”

The conference seeks to improve practitioner’s knowledge and understanding of the links between alcohol and dementia and of conditions that fall under the umbrella of alcohol related brain damage (ARBD).

Professor Andrews added: “Treatment, care and support for this group can be challenging and in the past individuals have often fallen between existing services: dementia services can’t always manage as the individual has alcohol problems and alcohol services can’t always manage as the person has cognitive impairment.  However, this is changing and there are growing numbers of specialist practitioners and services developing across the UK.”

The conference will provide evidence of best practice in services for people with ARBD that will enable attendees to improve care and support for people with ARBD in their own area. Speakers include clinicians providing diagnosis, assessment and ongoing support and rehabilitation; practitioners who provide care and support for people with ARBD; as well as academics from social and biological sciences. 

Notes to editors:

  • For more information or to arrange to come along to the conference, please contact Lesley Wilkinson, Communications Manager, on 01786 466203 or email lesley.wilkinson@stir.ac.uk
  • Professor June Andrews can also be contacted for further comment on 07906 696341.
  • The Dementia Services Development Centre provides comprehensive dementia education and training, consultancy and research services. For further information please see: www.dementia.stir.ac.uk
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