We report clinical characteristics of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (FALS) with 4 different missense point mutations in exons 2, 4, and 5 of the Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD) gene, that result in amino acid substitutions of histidine46 by arginine (H46R), leucine84 by valine (L84V), isoleucine104 by phenylalanine (I104F), and valine148 by isoleucine (V148I), in 5 Japanese families. Although features of progressive neurogenic muscular atrophy were common in patients of these families, patients of each family showed characteristic clinical features. FALS patients with the H46R mutation showed a benign clinical course and stereotype progression of muscular weakness and atrophy beginning from the legs. In FALS with the L84V mutation, while the clinical course of the disease was similar, the age at onset was younger in men than women. The patients with I104F showed wide ranges of age at onset and duration with ophthalmoparesis and sensory involvement in one patient. Those with the V148I mutation showed younger age at onset and variable first symptoms within the family. Although lower motor sign was evident in all cases, hyperreflexia varied from 0 to 100% among patients with the different mutations, and the Babinski sign was not observed in any case. Bulbar palsy was frequent with I104F, but not with H46R. SOD activity of the red blood cells was severely reduced with I104F and V148I, but was slightly reduced with H46R. These results suggest that familial ALS with different mutations of the Cu/Zn SOD gene each showed clinical characteristics, and that genetic mutations and clinical features are well correlated in familial ALS.