The Vienna Transdanube Aging (VITA) study searches for early markers of Alzheimer's disease (AD) by examining the mental status in a community-based cohort of 606, 75-years old volunteers that are then related to various clinical and genetic analyses. To determine whether mutations in mtDNA are involved in expression of AD, the mtDNA of 79 "control" participants is screened for alterations by sequencing of "hot-spot-regions". This study on mtDNA mutations has eliminated the influence of aging on the occurrence of mtDNA alterations by sequencing samples from persons at the age of exactly 75 years. Thus, our cohort reveals a snap-shot of mitochondrial sequences of elderly persons. So far, a high percentage (56%) of persons with known or unknown mutations in the fragments analyzed were found. These data will be compared in due time to a cohort of participants with proven late-onset AD.