A significant association between the tau gene A0/A0 genotype and progressive supranuclear palsy has been reported recently. To determine if the presence of a tau polymorphism could constitute a risk factor for the development of sporadic and familial Parkinson's disease, a dinucleotide repeat marker at intron 11 was genotyped in 152 patients with PD, 52 patients with Alzheimer's disease, and 150 healthy controls. We detected a significant difference in A0 allelic frequency in the Parkinson's disease group (79.27%) compared with the control group (71%) and the Alzheimer's disease group (73.07%). Individuals homozygous for the A0 allele were also detected significantly more frequently in the Parkinson's disease group (63.8%) compared with the control group (52.66%) and the Alzheimer's disease group (48.07%). These results suggest a possible involvement of the tau gene in the pathogenesis of some cases of Parkinson's disease.