Mutations in Notch3 gene are responsible for the cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy (CADASIL). It is a late onset neurological disorder recognized by recurrent strokes and dementia. We describe here the clinical and molecular findings of three unrelated Turkish families with CADASIL syndrome. Two of the families were identified to have the same mutation, p.R110C (c.C328T), located in exon 3 of the Notch3 gene. Interestingly, the phenotypic expression of the disease in these two families was markedly different in severity and age of onset implicating additional genetic and/or non-genetic modulating factors involved in the pathogenesis. In addition, we identified the novel p.C201R (c.T601C) mutation in exon 4 of the Notch3 gene in a proband of the third family with two consecutive stroke-like episodes and typical MRI findings. Mutations described here cause an odd number of cysteines in the N-terminal of the EGF domain of Notch3 protein, which seems to have an important functional effect in the pathophysiology of CADASIL. The phenotypic variability in families carrying the same molecular defect as presented here makes the prediction of prognosis inconceivable. Although DNA analysis is effective and valuable in diagnosing approximately 90% of the CADASIL patients, lack of genotype-phenotype correlation and prognostic parameters makes the presymptomatic genetic counseling very difficult. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.