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

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.
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.

Related Questions

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...

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...

Are vascular dementia and alzheimer's essentially the same disease?

No. Alzheimer's dementia is characterized by plaques within the brain cortex. Vascular dementia is because a blood vessel is clogged resulting in decreased blood flow to an area of the brain and the damage to that area of the brain. Read more...
No. Vascular or multi-infarct dementia and alzheimer's are distinct disorders. Vascular dementia is due to blockage of blood vessels supplying the brain. The blood vessels are generally not affected in alzheimer's, though as alzheimer's occurs in old people, they may have co-exiting atherosclerosis. Read more...
No! Vascular dementia is a problem with the blood vessels in the brain that cause brain cell death. Alzheimer's is caused by the development of plaques in the brain. Read more...

Are vascular dementia and alzheimer's basically the same disease or at least have the same symptoms?

Different causes. As the name implies, vascular dementia results from diseased blood vessels. Small strokes can kill off regions of the brain, leading to dementia. The cause of alzheimer's is not entirely understood, but involves the accumulation of amyloid in the cells; it is not a vascular problem. Vascular dementia is more variable, but its symptoms can be very similar to alzheimer's. Read more...
Similar. Vd and ad have nearly identical risk factors. Many people have both illnesses. Current treatments are identical. However, one can have eiither type of dementia alone. Problems in VD are very dependent on where the damage is while ad has a relatively predictable pattern of deficits as the there are specific brain areas affected. Read more...
Somewhat . The typical course of alzheimers is slow and insidious with global deficits across several realms of coh=gnition; the typical course of vascular dementia is to be atypical and varies more dramatically from person to person with a stepwise and less gradual progression, as well as more isolated deficits in various cognitive realms... Read more...