The Volga German kindreds are a group of seven related families with autosomal dominant early-onset Alzheimer's disease (AD). Linkage to known AD-related loci on chromosomes 21 and 14 has been excluded. Significant evidence for linkage to AD in these families was obtained with D1S479 and there was also positive evidence for linkage with other markers in the region. A 112-base pair allele of D1S479 co-segregated with the disease in five of seven families, which is consistent with a common genetic founder. This study demonstrates the presence of an AD locus on chromosome 1q31-42.