Neuronal intranuclear hyaline inclusion disease (NIHID) is a rare neurodegenerative disorder characterized pathologically by the presence of eosinophilic intranuclear inclusions in neuronal and glial cells. It has been considered to be a heterogeneous disease entity because the clinical pictures of previously described cases were highly variable. In the present review, reported NIHID cases have been categorized into three clinical subgroups according to onset and disease duration, and the clinical phenotype of each subgroup is discussed. Neuronal intranuclear inclusions (NII) in NIHID are ubiquitinated and their prevalence is inversely correlated with neuronal loss, suggesting that NII formation is a protective mechanism involving the ubiquitin-proteasome-dependent proteolytic pathway. In several polyglutamine diseases, disease-related proteins containing abnormally expanded polyglutamine tracts aggregate in neuronal nuclei, resulting in NII formation. The similarity between NII in NIHID and polyglutamine diseases suggests that they are formed during a common proteolysis-related process that takes place in the nucleus. Although the pathogenetic mechanism underlying NIHID remains unknown, the data reviewed here suggest that it might be related to accumulation of as yet unidentified abnormal proteins or dysfunction of the intranuclear ubiquitin-proteasome pathway.