Elevation of amyloid β-peptide (Aβ) is critically associated with Alzheimer disease (AD) pathogenesis. Aβ-induced synaptic abnormalities, including altered receptor trafficking and synapse loss, have been linked to cognitive deficits in AD. Recent work implicates a lipid critical for neuronal function, phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate [PI(4,5)P2], in Aβ-induced synaptic and behavioral impairments. Synaptojanin 1 (Synj1), a lipid phosphatase mediating the breakdown of PI(4,5)P2, has been shown to play a role in synaptic vesicle recycling and receptor trafficking in neurons. Heterozygous deletion of Synj1 protected neurons from Aβ-induced synaptic loss and restored learning and memory in a mouse model of AD. Thus, inhibition of Synj1 may ameliorate Aβ-associated impairments, suggesting Synj1 as a potential therapeutic target. To this end, we developed a screening assay for Synj1 based on detection of inorganic phosphate liberation from a water-soluble, short-chain PI(4,5)P2. The assay displayed saturable kinetics and detected Synj1's substrate preference for PI(4,5)P2 over PI(3,4,5)P3. The assay will enable identification of novel Synj1 inhibitors that have potential utility as chemical probes to dissect the cellular role of Synj1 as well as potential to prevent or reverse AD-associated synaptic abnormalities.