Nicotinic and muscarinic cholinergic receptors were studied in autopsied brains from four histologically normal controls and five histopathologically verified cases of Alzheimer-type dementia (ATD), using ligand binding techniques. Nicotinic and muscarinic cholinergic receptors were assessed by (-)-[3H]nicotine and [3H]quinuclidinyl benzilate [( 3H]QNB), respectively. Compared with the controls, (-)-[3H]nicotine binding sites in the ATD brain regions examined were significantly reduced in the putamen and the nucleus basalis of Meynert (NbM). [3H]QNB binding was significantly reduced in the hippocampus and NbM. These findings suggest that there are significant changes of nicotinic and muscarinic cholinergic receptors in selected regions of ATD brains.