Although all scientific reports should be digested with caution, there was a report recently that said that binge drinking leads to an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease in older age.
This is not at all surprising if true. Alcohol is a poison in large doses. Even in relatively small doses it is unhealthy but we consume it nonetheless. The after effects tell us how poisonous it is but we treat the after effects as some sort of routine process not as the body telling us that it is poison.
We can feel sick. We get a hangover. Apparently a hangover is due to the brain swelling up. If you observe hard drinkers their entire body looks frail as if it has been broken down throughout.
I would be surprised if there was no damage to the brain. In fact I think that Jane is more forgetful than she was or her memory is less good. As the change is gradual it can be hard to measure especially if you aren't actually looking out for it.
Alcohlics don't care that they are hurting themselves. This is probably due to their low self esteem and of course the helplessness of the situation. If you can't stop there is no point caring about the effects.
Alcoholism and Alzheimer's Disease
Photo: by Institut Douglas and published under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs creative commons License