Ubiquinol:cytochrome c oxidoreductase (complex III) and ATP synthase (complex V) are important enzymes in the mitochondrial electron transport chain. Defects in mitochondrial respiratory enzymes have been reported for several neurodegenerative diseases. In this study, we applied the proteomic approach to investigate protein levels of complex III core protein and complex V beta chain in brain regions of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Down syndrome (DS) patients. Complex III core protein 1 was significantly reduced in the temporal cortex of AD patients. Complex V beta chain was significantly reduced in the frontal cortex of DS patients. We conclude that decreased mitochondrial respiratory enzymes could contribute to the impairment of energy metabolism observed in DS. These decreases could also cause the generation of reactive oxygen species and neuronal cell death (apoptosis) in DS as well as AD.