I was wondering what are the differences between Alzheimer's and vascular dementia?

Briefly, Ad progresses slowly, but it does progress. Vd occurs suddenly and stabilizes. With additional incidents, it again abruptly worsens, then stabilizes. Depending on the site of the damage, motor function will or will not be involved. Ad may take a long time to effect motor ability. It's a bit like "disease vs injury". Below is a link since 400 chars is too little. Hope it helps.
Significant. Alzheimer's is a progressive dementia characterized by short term memory loss and another domain such as naming that continues gradually. Vascular dementia is a step wise (non progressive) dementia caused by strokes, where each stroke causes a cognitive loss which is less clearly demarcated since it is more subcortical. So patients have problems with recall/retrieval of info or other dysfunction.

Related Questions

What are the differences between vascular dementia and alzheimer's disease?

Not many. Clinically, alzheimer's tends to be a smooth decline over time, while vascular dementia declines in steps, as small regions of the brain lose function. Neuropsychological testing may lend evidence for, but not prove, one cause or the other. A definitive diagnosis can only be made by brain biopsy (which is rarely done), or at autopsy. Read more...
The course of illnes. Is one of the major differences. Vascular dementia shows a stepwise loss of memory and function, while alzheimer's course is slowly progressive. Read more...

What is the main difference between vascular dementia and alzheimer's disease?

Vascular vs. Alzheim. Alzheimer is diagnosis by exclusion, when other physiologica causes are ruled out, vascular is by abnormality in blood system suchas high blood pressure or stroke, etc. Read more...
The course. Vascular dementia may be caused by small strokes from which the person may partially recover. So the course of vascular dementia is like a staircase. Alzheimer's disease is usually more gradual progression of dementia although people may have good and bad days. Read more...

I was wondering what are the main differences between vascular dementia and alzheimer's disease?

See below. Vascular dementia usually has more sudden onset due to the inadequate blood flow. Below is more detailed description of the disease. http://www.alz.org/dementia/vascular-dementia-symptoms.asp. Read more...
Briefly, Ad progresses slowly, but it does progress. Vd occurs suddenly and stabilizes. With additional incidents, it again abruptly worsens, then stabilizes. Depending on the site of the damage, motor function will or will not be involved. Ad may take a long time to effect motor ability. It's a bit like "disease vs injury". Below is a link since 400 chars is too little. Hope it helps. Read more...

I don't understand how to distinguish between Alzheimer's and vascular dementia?

Not easy. Clinically, alzheimer's tends to be a smooth decline over time, while vascular dementia declines in steps, as small regions of the brain lose function. Neuropsychological testing may lend evidence for, but not prove, one cause or the other. A definitive diagnosis can only be made by brain biopsy (which is rarely done), or at autopsy. Read more...
The course of these. Dementias is quite different as are the causes and treatments. Vascular dementia exhibits a stepwise course while alzheimer's is characterized by a slow and steady progression of memory loss. Read more...