1. Sir Ian Gilmore*
  1. University of Liverpool, Liverpool L69 3BX, UK
  1. *Corresponding author: E-mail: igilmore{at}

It is hard to imagine a more serious and far-reaching topic than the subject of this Issue, the brains of the next generation of adults. There are chilling statistics provided here both on the drinking patterns of children of school age and on the susceptibility of their brains to this early exposure to alcohol. It is tempting to say that the young have always kicked over the traces and experimented, it was the same in our day and there is nothing new under the sun. But these aphorisms disguise a step change in the last 20 years in the number of children exposed and potentially harmed by alcohol. …