OBJECTIVE To observe the effect of grain-sized moxibustion at "Xinshu" (BL 15) and "Shenshu" (BL 23) on memory-learning ability and amyloid deposition in transgenic Alzheimer's disease (AD) mice. METHODS seventeen amyloid precursor protein (APP)/presenilin (PS)1 (APP+/PS 1+) double transgenic 6799 mice aged 3-4 weeks were randomly divided into model group (n = 9) and moxibustion group (n = 8). Nine wide-type (C 57 BL/6 J) female mice were used as the normal control group. Moxibustion (ignited grain-sized moxa cone) was applied to bilateral "Xinshu" (BL 15) and "Shenshu" (BL 23) for about 30 s, once a day for 9 courses (10 days constitute a therapeutic course, with 2 days' break between every two courses). Morris water maze tests were performed to detect the mice's learning-memory ability. The alterations of beta-amyloid deposition (number of the positive plaques) in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus were detected by using an imaging analysis system following Congo red staining of the cerebral tissue sections. RESULTS Compared with the normal group, the average escape latency of place navigation tests was significantly increased (P < 0.05), and the target-platform crossing times and percentage of dwell time in the target quadrant of the spatial exploring tests were notably decreased in the model group (P < 0.05). After moxibustion intervention, the escape latency was remarkably shortened, and the target-platform crossing times and dwell time percentage were obviously increased in the moxibustion group in comparison with the model group (P < 0.05), suggesting an improvement of the learning-memory ability after moxibustion. Results of Congo red staining of the cerebral tissue showed that there were many irregular, uneven staining positive plaques in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus of AD mice in the model group. Compared with the model group, the positive plaque numbers in both cerebral cortex and hippocampus were considerably reduced in the moxibustion group (P < 0.05). CONCLUSION Grain-sized moxibustion at "Xinshu" (BL 15) and "Shenshu" (BL 23) can ameliorate learning-memory ability and restrain the formation of amyloid deposition in AD mice.