Familial Parkinson's disease (PD) has been linked to missense and genomic multiplication mutations of the α-synuclein gene (SNCA). Genetic variability within SNCA has been implicated in idiopathic PD in many populations. We now confirm and extend these findings, within a Belgian sample, using a high-resolution map of genetic markers across the SNCA locus. Our study implicates the SNCA promoter in susceptibility to PD, and more specifically defines a minimum promoter haplotype, spanning approximately 15.3kb of sequence, which is overrepresented in patients. Our findings represent a biomarker for PD and may have implications for patient diagnosis, longitudinal evaluation, and treatment. Ann Neurol 2004;56:591–595