The Frontal Lobe Paradox in the assessment of alcohol-related cognitive deficits and brain damage.
The Welsh Government Substance Misuse Treatment Framework: Diagnosis, treatment and Support for Alcohol-Related Brain Damage (ARBD) recommends early identification and that cognitive screening of individuals with a history of significant alcohol use should be routinely undertaken by trained professionals to identify those with risk of ARBD.
If ARBD is correctly identified it is a potentially reversible and treatable condition. However, difficulties in assessing functional capacity of individuals with potential ARBD can be compounded by several factors including the preservation of language and verbal reasoning skills allowing individuals to effectively mask deficits and to mis-diagnose or underestimate their need for treatment and support.
“The Frontal Lobe Paradox” (FLP) otherwise referred to as the ‘knowing-doing dissociation’ highlights a phenomenon in which a subset of people who possess frontal lobe damage and exhibit marked impairments in everyday life are still able to perform well in interview and clinical test settings. However, there is a lack of readily accessible research specific to the frontal lobe paradox, despite an apparent understanding of the phenomena by clinicians.
This PhD studentship aims to address a gap in the literature and will directly inform the development of ARBD-specific screening and diagnosis tools, and aid in establishing clear pathways for referral and treatment. You will be working with Professor Gareth Roderique Davies and Professor Bev John of the Addictions Research Group. You can read more about their work on ARBD here.
The studentship will cover the fees for a full-time three-year PhD programme and pay a stipend of £15, 500 per year. USW research students also benefit from extensive free training.