7 doctors weighed in:

How do you distinguish between vascular dementia and alzheimers?

7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Steven Reidbord
Psychiatry
3 doctors agree

In brief: 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.

In brief: 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.
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Dr. Kenneth Adler
Psychiatry
2 doctors agree

In brief: PET scan

There is no easy way to distinguish but a pet scan can be helpful to make a diagnosis.

In brief: PET scan

There is no easy way to distinguish but a pet scan can be helpful to make a diagnosis.
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