One of the known risk factors for developing Alzheimer disease (AD) is hyperhomocysteinemia. The latter may result from mutations of the genes coding for three key enzymes involved in homocysteine metabolism (methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase [MTHFR], methionine synthase [MS], and cystathionine beta-synthase [CBS]). Although MTHFR and MS polymorphisms have been shown to be positively associated with AD in some populations, the relationship of the CBS gene with AD remains undefined. In order to evaluate whether AD is associated with CBS gene changes leading to decreased CBS activity and homocysteine accumulation, we genotyped the CBS 844ins68 mutation and VNTR polymorphisms of the CBS gene in 206 AD patients and 186 age-matched controls. A slight increase in both 844ins68 mutation and VNTR allele 19 frequencies was detected in the whole AD patient group, compared with controls. The division of AD patients and controls into three age-at-onset/age dependent subgroups (<65 years, 65-74 years, > 75 years) revealed that the 844ins68 mutation and VNTR allele 19 are independent risk factors for AD development in subjects aged 75 years or more.