Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is generally referred to the transitional zone between normal cognitive aging and early dementia or clinically probable Alzheimer's disease (AD). Most individuals with amnestic MCI eventually develop AD, which suggests that MCI may be the earliest phase of AD. Oxidative stress is observed in brain from subjects with both AD and MCI. Among others, two possibilities for elevated oxidataive stress are decreased activity or elevated expression of antioxidant enzymes, the latter as a response to the former. Accordingly, in the current study, the protein levels and activity of some antioxidant enzymes in the hippocampus of control and MCI brain were measured using Western blot analysis and spectrophotometric methods, respectively. Alterations in the levels and activity of a number of antioxidant enzymes in MCI brain compared to age-matched controls were found. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that oxidative stress may be an early event in the progression of amnestic MCI to AD.