Vaccinations with amyloid-beta peptide (A beta) can dramatically reduce amyloid deposition in a transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. To determine if the vaccinations had deleterious or beneficial functional consequences, we tested eight months of A beta vaccination in a different transgenic model for Alzheimer's disease in which mice develop learning deficits as amyloid accumulates. Here we show that vaccination with A beta protects transgenic mice from the learning and age-related memory deficits that normally occur in this mouse model for Alzheimer's disease. During testing for potential deleterious effects of the vaccine, all mice performed superbly on the radial-arm water-maze test of working memory. Later, at an age when untreated transgenic mice show memory deficits, the A beta-vaccinated transgenic mice showed cognitive performance superior to that of the control transgenic mice and, ultimately, performed as well as nontransgenic mice. The A beta-vaccinated mice also had a partial reduction in amyloid burden at the end of the study. This therapeutic approach may thus prevent and, possibly, treat Alzheimer's dementia.