Recent research has demonstrated that patients with dementia of the Alzheimer type (DAT) evidence more rapid forgetting than do patients with Huntington's disease (HD). The present study focused on whether such group differences translated into measures with adequate sensitivity and specificity at different stages of these disorders. It was found that measures of forgetting (i.e., savings scores) based upon the Logical Memory and Visual Reproduction tests of the Wechsler Memory Scale--Revised had satisfactory to excellent sensitivity and specificity in differentiating DAT and HD patients from healthy control subjects. Savings scores also had good sensitivity and specificity in differentiating DAT from HD in the early stages of the diseases. However, unsatisfactory specificity may limit the utility of savings scores in differentiating among patients with moderate DAT and HD.