Alcohol Related Brain Impact2018-09-26T16:09:06+00:00

Alcohol Related Brain Impact

Alcohol misuse is one of the many causes of acquired brain injury. The associated problems that arise from misuse of alcohol are classified as alcohol related brain impairment (ARBI). ARBI results in problems with memory, physical balance and coordination, as well as  thinking related abilities.

The amount of damage incurred depends on a variety of factors such as, age, gender, nutrition, as well as the amount of alcohol consumption. While a younger person may have a better chance at recovery, the effects of ARBI can be permanent. ARBI is more likely to occur in a person who drinks heavily on a regular basis over a number of years. However, ARBI can also occur over a short period of time if the person is drinking excessively, known commonly as binge drinking.

At Jurmaine Health, we can help diagnose ARBI.

At Jurmaine Health, we can investigate the cognitive, emotional and behavioural effects of the brain and provide detailed assessments that assist in diagnosing the cognitive impacts of alcohol related brain impairment and can plan treatments also. The neuropsychology assessment can also provide a baseline so that changes can be compared to determine improvements or struggles over time.
Jurmaine Health assessments consist of an interview followed by a range of tests appropriate to the clients requirements. Results from the assessment are then used to create plans and/or recommendations for the individual, to aid improvement.

Did you know?

Due to drinking habits, there is an estimate that approximately 2 million Australians are potentially at risk of developing ARBI. Currently, more than 2,500 Australians are treated for ARBI each year.

Brain injury can be caused as a result of alcohol consumption because:

  • Alcohol has a toxic effect on the central nervous system
  • Alcohol consumption can change your metabolism, heart function and blood supply
  • Alcohol consumption can disrupt vitamin B1 (thiamine) absorption, which is an important nutrient for the brain
  • Alcohol consumption can be associated with poor nutrition
  • Consumption of alcohol can lead to accidents and falls that can injure the brain

How does alcohol related brain impairment affect thinking?

Alcohol related brain impairment (ARBI) can result in damage to many areas of the brain, including the frontal lobe. The frontal lobe is responsible for our thinking, planning, emotion and problem solving. Damage to the frontal lobe affects all of these functions. A person with ARBI will have difficulty solving everyday problems, communicating with other people, and controlling their emotions appropriate to the situation.

Another syndrome that can be linked with ARBI is Korsakoff’s syndrome. Korsakoff’s syndrome results a loss of short term memory, so the person is often unable to retain new memories and can end up filling in spaces of their memories with things they have made up, and believe to be true. This can mean that the person starts to think incorrectly about events that aren’t necessarily real, and they may share these “memories” with other people which could cause problems in their social environment.

How might alcohol related brain impairment affect everyday function?

ARBI can impact many areas of the brain which can interfere with everyday function. There are a range of behavioural problems that have been associated with ARBI. These behaviours often include:

  • Confusion
  • Impaired judgement and self awareness
  • Mood swings
  • Aggressive or angry outbursts
  • Concentration issues
  • Reduced motivation
  • Poor hygiene and untidiness
  • Withdrawal
  • Lack of control of emotions
  • Sexually inappropriate behaviours


All of these behavioural problems can result in difficulties functioning in the workplace, home, and in social situations. Personal, family and romantic relationships can be affected in a negative way, leaving the person with ARBI becoming isolated or disconnected from other people. Isolation and feelings of being disconnected, can exacerbate the symptoms and behaviours experienced.

For a person with ARBI, it is important to them that they are listened to and helped by other people. They need reassurance that they can get through what has happened to them, and all their behavioural changes experienced.

Alcohol Related Brain Impact

Alcohol misuse is one of the many causes of acquired brain injury. The associated problems that arise from misuse of alcohol are classified as alcohol related brain impairment (ARBI). ARBI results in problems with memory, physical balance and coordination, as well as  thinking related abilities.

The amount of damage incurred depends on a variety of factors such as, age, gender, nutrition, as well as the amount of alcohol consumption. While a younger person may have a better chance at recovery, the effects of ARBI can be permanent. ARBI is more likely to occur in a person who drinks heavily on a regular basis over a number of years. However, ARBI can also occur over a short period of time if the person is drinking excessively, known commonly as binge drinking.

At Jurmaine Health, we can help diagnose ARBI.

At Jurmaine Health, we can investigate the cognitive, emotional and behavioural effects of the brain and provide detailed assessments that assist in diagnosing the cognitive impacts of alcohol related brain impairment and can plan treatments also. The neuropsychology assessment can also provide a baseline so that changes can be compared to determine improvements or struggles over time.
Jurmaine Health assessments consist of an interview followed by a range of tests appropriate to the clients requirements. Results from the assessment are then used to create plans and/or recommendations for the individual, to aid improvement.

Did you know?

Due to drinking habits, there is an estimate that approximately 2 million Australians are potentially at risk of developing ARBI. Currently, more than 2,500 Australians are treated for ARBI each year.

Brain injury can be caused as a result of alcohol consumption because:

  • Alcohol has a toxic effect on the central nervous system
  • Alcohol consumption can change your metabolism, heart function and blood supply
  • Alcohol consumption can disrupt vitamin B1 (thiamine) absorption, which is an important nutrient for the brain
  • Alcohol consumption can be associated with poor nutrition
  • Consumption of alcohol can lead to accidents and falls that can injure the brain

How does alcohol related brain impairment affect thinking?

Alcohol related brain impairment (ARBI) can result in damage to many areas of the brain, including the frontal lobe. The frontal lobe is responsible for our thinking, planning, emotion and problem solving. Damage to the frontal lobe affects all of these functions. A person with ARBI will have difficulty solving everyday problems, communicating with other people, and controlling their emotions appropriate to the situation.

Another syndrome that can be linked with ARBI is Korsakoff’s syndrome. Korsakoff’s syndrome results a loss of short term memory, so the person is often unable to retain new memories and can end up filling in spaces of their memories with things they have made up, and believe to be true. This can mean that the person starts to think incorrectly about events that aren’t necessarily real, and they may share these “memories” with other people which could cause problems in their social environment.

How might alcohol related brain impairment affect everyday function?

ARBI can impact many areas of the brain which can interfere with everyday function. There are a range of behavioural problems that have been associated with ARBI. These behaviours often include:

  • Confusion
  • Impaired judgement and self awareness
  • Mood swings
  • Aggressive or angry outbursts
  • Concentration issues
  • Reduced motivation
  • Poor hygiene and untidiness
  • Withdrawal
  • Lack of control of emotions
  • Sexually inappropriate behaviours


All of these behavioural problems can result in difficulties functioning in the workplace, home, and in social situations. Personal, family and romantic relationships can be affected in a negative way, leaving the person with ARBI becoming isolated or disconnected from other people. Isolation and feelings of being disconnected, can exacerbate the symptoms and behaviours experienced.

For a person with ARBI, it is important to them that they are listened to and helped by other people. They need reassurance that they can get through what has happened to them, and all their behavioural changes experienced.

Let us help you

Our caring team is here to help. Our services aim to help both your brain and body achieve optimal health. Contact our Neuropsychological & Neuromusculoskeletal team for effective advice, assessment and management of your concerns and issues.

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