In the present study, we investigated the acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitory activity of the ethanolic extracts of a number of mushroom species growing in Turkey, including mainly Polyporus species (Polyporus gilvus, Polyporus sulphureus, Polyporus annosus, Polyporus radiatus, Polyporus pinicola, Polyporus volvatus, Polyporus fomentarius, Polyporus stevenii, Polyporus badius), as well as Cantharellus cibarius, Lactarius deliciosus, and Trametes versicolor. The analyses were carried out using the spectrophotometric method of Ellman in ELISA microplate reader at 500 mu g/ml. Since Alzheimer's disease (AD) is associated with oxidative degeneration of cells, several methods of antioxidant activity were applied to the mushroom extracts such as 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging activity, ferrous ion-chelating effect, ferric-reducing antioxidant power (FRAP), and beta-carotene bleaching tests. Total phenol contents of the extracts were also determined by Folin-Ciocalteu reagent. In anti-AChE assay, the most active one was P. sulphureus having 31.44% of inhibition. P. voluatus showed the best scavenging effect against DPPH, while all of the extracts exerted low capacity in chelating ferrous ions and reducing ferric ion. (C) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.