Sputnik: Recent research has found 38% of the 57,000 cases of early-onset dementia – were directly alcohol-related and 18% had an additional diagnosis of alcohol use disorders. How significant are these findings?
Dr Patton: They are very significant. They clearly indicate a strong relationship between alcohol consumption, even a moderate to low level of alcohol consumption to brain damage.
Sputnik: What methods are being used currently to protect and prevent heavy drinkers?
Sputnik: Following the publication and findings of this research, could we see alcohol on the same pedestal as hard addictive drugs like Heroin?
Dr Patton: That’s an interesting question. In the UK, we are a nation that is steeped in alcohol in many ways. It is the fabric of our society… Of course alcohol has been made illegal in other countries in the past, such as America during the prohibition. This wasn’t particularly successful in reducing levels of consumption and harm. I don’t think we will see alcohol being outlawed in the same way as other drugs have been and I think we will concentrate on harm minimization, increasing education and reducing levels of consumption. If we drink less, it [alcohol] will do us less harm and that’s a fact.