Hereditary cerebral hemorrhage with amyloidosis of the Dutch type (HCHWA-D) is tightly linked to the Alzheimer amyloid precursor protein gene on chromosome 21, which codes for the amyloid beta-protein. A point mutation detected at position 1852 of the amyloid precursor protein gene in four HCHWA-D patients was hypothesized to be the basic defect. This study proves that 22 HCHWA-D patients from three pedigrees all carry this point mutation, whereas the mutation is absent in escapees from the HCHWA-D families as well as in randomly selected Dutch individuals. A mutation-specific oligonucleotide is now available for the confirmation of the HCHWA-D diagnosis. Therefore, presymptomatic testing and prenatal evaluation of individuals at risk in the HCHWA-D families is now feasible.