The research literature on the impact of alcohol on the brain has seen a rapid expansion in recent years. Alcohol and the Adult Brain presents an up-to-date overview of some of the issues relevant to understanding and working with people with cognitive impairment as a result of chronic alcohol use.
One issue causing barriers to effective treatment and care is the stigma associated with alcohol dependence, resulting in the belief that difficulties associated with alcohol related brain damage (ARBD) are 'self-inflicted'. Cognitive changes resulting from alcohol excess and poor nutrition can directly affect an individual's ability to motivate themselves, make decisions, and make the informed choices that underlie behaviour change. Attitudes held by professionals, reinforced by societal norms, that a person is 'choosing to drink' and 'not motivated to engage with treatment', in combination with the often subtle cognitive deficits associated with ARBD, can result in a lack of timely intervention, with enormous personal, social and economic cost.
The chapters in this book set ARBD in a social and cultural context, provide discussion of the difficulties in definition and diagnosis, and outline the structural brain changes and neuropsychological deficits associated with chronic alcohol use. The book provides an overview of recent research on ARBD, including impairments associated with Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome, and discusses up to date recommendations for managing and working with this complex and varied disorder.
Alcohol and the Adult Brain will be essential for students and researchers working with ARBD and for practitioners in a range of health, social care and voluntary settings.
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Number of pages: 226
Weight: 476 g
Dimensions: 235 x 159 x 23 mm
'An impressive and timely overview of the growing health problem of alcohol and the brain. The book is well illustrated and comprehensive in its coverage. A definite and significant contribution to the field that will provide a firm foundation for future research.' - David J. Nutt, Centre for Neuropsychopharmacology, Imperial College London, UK
'Jenny Svanberg and her colleagues have admirably pulled togeter a range of experts to weave the diffuse literature into a coherent whole that reconciles complex neurobiology with sophisticated neuropsychology and a range of cultural and ethical issues. [...] I was impressed to see the potential relationship of culture to the development of alcohol-related brain damage highlighted in the book. [...] The authors highlight the complex interactions between physiological and psychological factors considered within the context of the dominant social milieu. It is also extremely laudable in an edited volume of this length that adequate scope is given to the ethical issues in considering the individual with alcohol-related brain damage, the use of vignettes being a particularly powerful medium in which to convey topics related to provision of care, mental capacity, and the legal system.
In summary, this volume represents an excellent "one-stop" shop for the interested reader clinician, and research to avail themselves of the contemporary issues associated with the impact of alcohol on the adult brain. The book offers an excellent insight, firmly rooted in the evidences, and it represents an accessibhle read for the nonspecialist and a valuable refresher summary for the specialist looking for an update of key issues. Finally, there is no doubt, after reading this excellent volume, that in a societal-wide context, alcohol represents the most dangerous drug.' -Colin R. Martin, PsycCRITIQUES, October 2015
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