7 doctors weighed in:

How do you know the difference alzheimer's or vascular dementia?

7 doctors weighed in
Dr. David Murdock
Psychiatry
5 doctors agree

In brief: Course of illness

Alzheimer's is a very slow gradual process over time, usually manifesting as deficits in short-term memory and executive function.
Vascular dementia is usually a step-wise decline involving various areas of the brain unequally. Many cases can be mixed, having both elements of cerebrovascular disease and the plaque/tangle pathology of alzheimer's.

In brief: Course of illness

Alzheimer's is a very slow gradual process over time, usually manifesting as deficits in short-term memory and executive function.
Vascular dementia is usually a step-wise decline involving various areas of the brain unequally. Many cases can be mixed, having both elements of cerebrovascular disease and the plaque/tangle pathology of alzheimer's.
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Dr. Fred Gallo
Clinical Psychology
2 doctors agree

In brief: Progression

Vascular dementia generally comes on suddenly and affects the frontal lobes where executive functions like decision making occurs.
Alzheimer's is progressive, starting in the hypocampus and progressing to other areas of the brain ultimately impairing respiratory and cardiac functions. Short term memory goes first, followed by language functions, long term memory, executive functions, etc.

In brief: Progression

Vascular dementia generally comes on suddenly and affects the frontal lobes where executive functions like decision making occurs.
Alzheimer's is progressive, starting in the hypocampus and progressing to other areas of the brain ultimately impairing respiratory and cardiac functions. Short term memory goes first, followed by language functions, long term memory, executive functions, etc.
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