Our understanding of the genes involved in Alzheimer's disease (AD) is incomplete. Using subtractive cloning technology, we discovered that the alpha/beta-hydrolase fold protein gene NDRG2 (NDRG family member 2) is upregulated at both the RNA and protein levels in AD brains. Expression of NDRG2 in affected brains was revealed in (1) cortical pyramidal neurons, (2) senile plaques and (3) cellular processes of dystrophic neurons. Overexpression of two splice variants encoding a long and short NDRG2 isoform in hippocampal pyramidal neurons of transgenic mice resulted in localization of both isoforms to dendritic processes. Taken together, our findings suggest that NDRG2 upregulation is associated with disease pathogenesis in the human brain and provide new insight into the molecular changes that occur in AD.