Evidence has suggested resveratrol has multiple biological effects, including anti-oxidative, antiinflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties. The neuroprotective role of resveratrol has been recently reported in animal models of neurodegenerative disease including Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. However, the mechanism remains unclear. Here we present our results of resveratrol’s therapeutic effect in improving the cognition of rats with brain impaired by carotid artery stenosis. Morris water maze experiment exhibited that treatment with resveratrol can markedly recover the memory and learning ability of the rats, confirming the neuroprotective function of resveratrol. We also demonstrated that the expression of three key proteins in the rat hippocampus cholinergic system, ChAT, AChE and Vacht, was greatly reduced under carotid artery stenosis condition, but after treatment with resveratrol the expression of all three was significantly enhanced. We further showed that the mRNA levels of these 3 proteins in the rat hippocampus were dramatically reduced by carotid artery stenosis, but were significantly increased by resveratrol application. These results demonstrated that resveratrol’s neuroprotective function is probably through the cholinergic system, and suggest resveratrol can be a potential drug target for Alzheimer’s disease.