The results of previous epidemiological studies of the relationship between Parkinson's disease and stroke have been conflicting; some showing a reduced risk of ischaemic and haemorrhagic stroke during life, and others indicating an increased likelihood of stroke-related death. We compared the frequency of cerebral infarcts and haemorrhages at postmortem in 100 cases of pathologically verified idiopathic Parkinson's disease and 100 are matched control brains. No significant differences were found in the numbers of infarcts or haemorrhages or stroke-related deaths between the two groups. Our findings do not indicate either a protective effect against stroke, or a greater susceptibility to death from stroke, in the population studied. (C) 2002 Movement Disorder Society.