Cell-cycle dysregulation might be critically involved in the process of neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's disease (AD). We now provide evidence for a dysfunction of the cell division cycle as a more general cellular phenomenon of the disease. Peripheral blood lymphocytes, stimulated with mitogenic compounds, were less able to express CD69, an early proliferation marker, in AD patients than in age-matched controls. Expression levels of CD69 of both T-cells and B-cells correlated inversely with the Mini-mental Scale. The results suggest that a systemic failure of cellular proliferation control might be of critical importance for the pathomechanism of AD.