Alzheimer disease (AD) patients with both sporadic and familial forms of AD and non-demented controls were genotyped for common polymorphisms in the signal peptide for alpha-1-antichymotrypsin (ACT) gene and in two different regions of apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene. The ACT TT genotype was over-represented (P = 0.025) in patients with early onset of sporadic AD. In this patient's group ACT TT genotype conferred a significant crude odds ratio for the disease (OR = 2.09; 95% CI = 1.09-4.00, P = 0.025). After adjustment for the APOE epsilon4 and APOE -491 genotypes, logistic regression analysis confirmed that the ACT TT genotype resulted independently associated with early onset AD (adjusted OR = 2.56; 85% CI = 1.3-5.2, P = 0.009). The frequency of APOE epsilon4 allele was increased in AD, as expected (OR = 5.92, 95% CI = 3.60-9.70, P = 0.0001). On the contrary, the APOE -491 A/T genotypes were not associated with AD. No preferential association of the APOE epsilon4 allele or APOE -491 A/T genotypes with ACT A/T alleles was observed in AD. Present findings indicated that subjects with ACT TT genotype had an increased risk of developing AD and suggested that this genotype influenced the risk of an early onset of the disease by affecting the production of ACT molecules.