We report polymorphism of the parkin gene in 160 sporadic Parkinson's disease (PD) patients and controls. Three polymorphisms were found: a G-to-A transition in exon 4 (S/N167), a C-to-T transition in exon 10 (R/W366), and a G-to-C transition in exon 10 (V/L380). Genotype distributions and allele frequencies of S/N167 and V/L380 did not differ significantly between the two groups. The R/W366 allele frequency was significantly lower in PD patients (1.2 vs 4.4%). The level of protection from PD provided by this allele was 3.60 (95% CI; range, 0.45–6.50), suggesting that it may be a protective factor against PD. Ann Neurol 1999;45:655–658