The human alpha-7 neuronal nicotinic receptor subunit (CHRNA7) gene, located at chromosome 15q13.2, represents a strong candidate gene for schizophrenia. We have examined an (AC)n dinucleotide repeat in intron 2 of the CHRNA7 gene, which was previously shown to be strongly linked with schizophrenia, using both population-based and family-based association studies. In the population-based study, no significant differences between the genotype and allele frequency distributions in schizophrenia patients and control subjects were observed after correction for multiple testing, although a nominally significant association between the most common allele and schizophrenia was observed (P = 0.023, uncorrected for multiple testing). In the family-based study, there is no significant over-transmission (Transmitted/Non-transmitted: 61/50) of the same allele in 160 family trios. Overall, our results do not support a major role for the (AC)n dinucleotide repeat in schizophrenia susceptibility in Han Chinese. Further large-scale genetic studies based on a set of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that fully characterize the linkage disequilibrium patterns at the CHRNA7 gene are necessary to determine the relevance of this gene as a risk factor for schizophrenia susceptibility.