My mother has recently been diagnosed with 'the early stages of dementia'. At this time, because I am getting the info third hand from Dad, I'm not clear if she has Alzheimer's or vascular dementia although from my observations of a steady deterioration in her short term memory, forgetting birthday's, sending Christmas cards to deceased relatives etc. my guess is this is AD. I've read that there may be distinct differences in the effectiveness of drugs used depending on which type she has. My question to the forum is how soon does one identify which dementia type is present? Are there specific tests that will identify it? Oh, and does anyone have any experience of trying to get a first hand account 'from the GP's mouth' so to speak. I live quite along way from my parents so it's not easy to attend visits with her...but not impossible.