The angiogenic activity of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is well known. Recently, it has become evident that VEGF is involved in central nervous system physiology and may play a role in the pathogenesis of neurological diseases. In particular, it may be involved in the mechanism of motor neuron degeneration in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and has been hypothesized to be implicated in the pathogenesis of peripheral neuropathies such as occur in the so-called POEMS syndrome and diabetes. VEGF is also being studied as a possible treatment option in some of these disorders. In this review we critically analyze the data supporting the notion that VEGF is a factor involved in motor neuron degeneration and review the studies linking VEGF to other diseases of the peripheral and central nervous systems.