Canavan disease is an infantile neurodegenerative disease that is caused by mutations in the gene encoding the enzyme aspartoacylase. It has mainly been reported in Jewish families. Genotyping of newly diagnosed patients is essential for the carrier identification and prenatal diagnosis. The sequence of the coding region was determined in 15 non-Jewish patients and 9 new mutations were identified: Y109X, P183H, V186F, M195R, P280L, P280S, A287T, 245insA, and a tentative missplicing mutation which leads to skipping of exon 5. The common pan-European mutation, A305E, was identified in 40% of the alleles and the overall detection rate was 93%.