BACKGROUND: Six candidate gene studies report a genetic association of DNA variants within the paraoxonase locus with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). However, several other large studies, including five genome-wide association studies, have not duplicated this finding. METHODS: We conducted a meta-analysis of 10 published studies and one unpublished study of the paraoxonase locus, encompassing 4,037 ALS cases and 4,609 controls, including genome-wide association data from 2,018 ALS cases and 2,425 controls. RESULTS: The combined fixed effects odds ratio (OR) for rs662 (PON1 Q192R) was 1.09 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.02-1.16, p = 0.01); the genotypic OR for RR homozygotes at Q192R was 1.25 (95% CI, 1.07-1.45, p = 0.0004); the combined OR for rs854560 (PON1 L55M) was 0.97 (95% CI, 0.86-1.10, p = 0.62); the OR for rs10487132 (PON2) was 1.08 (95% CI, 0.92-1.27, p = 0.35). Although the rs662 polymorphism reached a nominal level of significance, no polymorphism was significant after multiple testing correction. In the subanalysis of samples with genome-wide data from which population outliers were removed, rs662 had an OR of 1.06 (95% CI, 0.97-1.16, p = 0.22). CONCLUSIONS: In contrast to previous positive smaller studies, our genetic meta-analysis showed no significant association of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) with the PON locus. This is the largest meta-analysis of a candidate gene in ALS to date and the first ALS meta-analysis to include data from whole genome association studies. The findings reinforce the need for much larger and more collaborative investigations of the genetic determinants of ALS.