Recent studies have demonstrated that p53-associated apoptosis is involved in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). We performed a case-control association study between sporadic AD and the common proline/arginine polymorphism at codon 72 in the pro-apoptotic gene p53, in 109 sporadic AD patients and in 111 controls. This polymorphism has been intensively investigated for association with cancer, but so far not with AD and neurodegeneration. We found no association between this locus and the risk for AD. No association was detected also for the age at disease onset and for disease progression, and no interactive effect was found with apolipoprotein E e4. These findings show no evidence for an association between p53 codon 72 polymorphism and AD in our population.