Parkinson's disease (PD) is a prevalent movement disorder, and 10-30% of PD is familial. Several neurodegenerative disorders which are collectively called frontotemporal dementia and parkinsonism have been mapped to chromosome 17q and mutations in tau have been identified. The clinical and pathological overlap suggests that these related conditions may be due to mutations in tau. We examined linkage to the candidate region on chromosome 17 including and surrounding tau in eight familial PD kindreds. We found no evidence for linkage and excluded the 6cM candidate region which suggest that in our families, PD is not caused by dominant mutations within tau. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Ltd.