The contribution of mutations in the amyloid precursor protein (APP) gene known as Flemish (APP/A692G) and Dutch (APP/E693Q) to the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease and hereditary cerebral hemorrhage with amyloidosis of the Dutch type, respectively, was studied in transgenic mice that overexpress the mutant APP in brain. These transgenic mice showed the same early behavioral disturbances and defects and increased premature death as the APP/London (APP V717I), APP/Swedish (K670N, M671L), and other APP transgenic mice described previously. Pathological changes included intense glial reaction, extensive microspongiosis in the white matter, and apoptotic neurons in select areas of the brain, while amyloid deposits were absent, even in mice over 18 months of age. This contrasts with extensive amyloid deposition in APP/London transgenic mice and less pronounced amyloid deposition in APP/Swedish transgenic mice generated identically. It demonstrated, however, that the behavioral deficiencies and the pathological changes in brain resulting from an impaired neuronal function are caused directly by APP or its proteolytic derivative(s). These accelerate or impinge on the normal process of aging and amyloid deposits per se are not essential for this phenotype.