The present study investigated the relationships among oxidative stress, beta-amyloid and cognitive abilities in the APP/PSEN1 double-transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. In two experiments, long-term dietary supplements were given to aged APP/PSEN1 mice containing vitamin C alone (1 g/kg diet; Experiment 1) or in combination with a high (750 IU/kg diet, Experiments 1 and 2) or lower (400 IU/kg diet, Experiment 2) dose of vitamin E. Oxidative stress, measured by F(4)-neuroprostanes or malondialdehyde, was elevated in cortex of control-fed APP/PSEN1 mice and reduced to wild-type levels by vitamin supplementation. High-dose vitamin E with C was less effective at reducing oxidative stress than vitamin C alone or the low vitamin E+C diet combination. The high-dose combination also impaired water maze performance in mice of both genotypes. In Experiment 2, the lower vitamin E+C treatment attenuated spatial memory deficits in APP/PSEN1 mice and improved performance in wild-type mice in the water maze. Amyloid deposition was not reduced by antioxidant supplementation in either experiment.