Treatment and diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases and other CNS disorders are nowadays considered some of the most challenging tasks in modern medicine. The development of effective strategies for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of CNS pathologies require better understanding of neurological disorders that is still lacking. The use of nanomaterials is thought to contribute to our further understanding of the CNS and the development of novel therapeutic and diagnostic modalities for neurological interventions. Even though the application of nanoparticles in neuroscience is still embryonic, this article attempts to illustrate the use of different types of nanomaterials and the way in which they have been used in various CNS applications in an attempt to limit or reverse neuropathological processes. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.