We obtained brain MRIs, plasma homocysteine levels and apolipoprotein E genotyping for 11 American Indian Alzheimer disease (AD) subjects and 10 Indian controls. We calculated white matter hyperintensity volume (WMHV), whole brain volume (WBV), and ratio of white matter hyperintensity volume to whole brain volume (WMHV/WBV). There were no significant differences between AD subjects and controls in gender, history of hypertension, diabetes, or history of high cholesterol, but hypertension and diabetes were more common among AD subjects. There was no difference between AD and control groups in age (range for all subjects was 61-89 years), % Indian heritage, waist size or body mass index. Median Indian heritage was 50% or greater in both groups. Range of education was 5-13 years in the AD group and 12-16 years in controls. Median plasma homocysteine concentration was higher in AD subjects (11 μmol/L vs. 9.8 μmol/L), but did not achieve statistical significance. Significantly more AD subjects had apolipoprotein Eη4 alleles than did controls (63% vs.10%). Neuroimaging findings were not significantly different between the 2 groups, but AD subjects had greater WMHV (median 15.64 vs. 5.52 cc) and greater WMHV/WBV ratio (median 1.63 vs. 0.65 %) and a far greater range of WMHV. In combined AD subjects and controls, WBV correlated with BMI and age. WMHV and WMHV/WBV correlated inversely with MMSE scores (p = 0.001, 0.002, respectively). In addition, WMHV correlated positively with % Indian heritage (p = 0.047).