The ceroid-lipofuscinoses are a group of inherited neurodegenerative disorders characterized by the accumulation of autofluorescent lipopigment in neurons and other cell types. The underlying biochemical defect is unknown. Batten disease (Spielmeyer-Vogt disease, juvenile onset neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinosis) displays autosomal recessive inheritance. Genetic linkage studies were undertaken to determine the chromosomal location of the Batten disease mutation (CLN3). Following identification of linkage to the haptoglobin locus, linkage analysis has been carried out in 42 families by using DNA markers for loci on the long arm of human chromosome 16. The maximal lod score between Batten disease and the locus D16S148 calculated for combined sexes is 6.05 at a recombination fraction theta = 0.00. Multilocus analysis using five loci indicated the most likely order to be HP-D16S151-D16S150-CLN3-D16S148-D16S147. The maximal location score for CLN3 was 48 (equivalent to a lod score of 10.4) in that interval within this fixed marker map.