We studied senile plaques (SP) in the cerebella of six autopsied subjects with Alzheimer-type dementia (ATD) and ten non-ATD autopsied subjects between the ages of 78 and 90. Neither SP nor amyloid angiopathy (AA) was observed in any of the non-ATD subjects. In the four of the six ATD subjects, diffuse plaques in the molecular layer were seen as ill-defined areas of fine fibrillar materials by beta protein immunostaining with formic acid pretreatment, the modified Bielschowsky stain, and periodic acid-methenamine silver (PAM) stain. The plaques were not visible with Bodian, Congo red, or periodic acid-Schiff stains. Compact plaques in the Purkinje cell or in the granular cell layers were found in three of the six subjects. Their amyloid core was often surrounded by areolar amyloid deposits. AA was observed in three of the six subjects. The argyrophilia of the diffuse and compact plaques, demonstrated by the modified Bielschowsky and PAM stains, became undetectable when the sections were first treated with formic acid. Such treatment made the plaques immunoreactive with beta protein antiserum. The findings suggested that cerebellar diffuse plaques and compact plaques consist mainly of an amyloid component, and are characteristic of ATD.