Warnings over brain damage caused by alcohol as new support group launches in Weston

PUBLISHED: 08:00 12 July 2017

Planning permission for the wine production unit is being sought from North Somerset Council.

Planning permission for the wine production unit is being sought from North Somerset Council.

Archant

Permanent brain damage caused by alcohol is the focus of a new awareness and support group set up by two former healthcare professionals in Weston-super-Mare.

Milan Mores and Clive Oldridge used to work in residential homes, where they supported people who had been permanently affected by alcohol-related brain damage (ARBD).

They launched ARBD Awareness with a presentation yesterday (Wednesday).

Their work has a number of strands to it, including helping people with brain damage caused by excessive alcohol.

Mr Mores said: “We want everyone to know excessive alcohol can lead to permanent brain damage.

“We live in a society where alcohol is revered as the basis of enjoyment.

“Almost all celebrations include alcohol, and if we need to drown our sorrows, alcohol is there to help us. We want people to know the facts because alcohol does feature so prominently in our lives.

“We are not against alcohol. We do not want to stop people enjoying themselves. As the alcohol adverts say, we want people to drink responsibly.”

One of ARBD Awareness’ main focuses is on Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, which is caused by a lack of vitamin B – something commonly found in people who drink too much alcohol.

One part of the condition is temporary and treatable, but the second stage is permanent brain damage.

Mr Mores said: “We noticed there was a great lack of information and people did not know what ARBD stands for.

“Even doctors and health professionals are not greatly aware of it.

“And yet more and more people are being affected by it, and it can also affect the younger generations.”

The syndrome’s symptoms include memory loss and confusion, and people can be apathetic to what is happening around them.

As part of their work, Mr Mores and Mr Oldridge are calling for local authorities to create an ARBD advisor, and training for healthcare professionals.

Another aspect to their work is also changing people’s attitudes towards those who have illnesses caused by alcohol.

Mr Mores “We are also starting a charity offering support and advice to anyone already affected, including families.”

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