Neural stem and progenitor cells in the mammalian brain persist and are functional well into adulthood. Reservoirs for these cells are found in both the subventricular zone and the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus. It is still unclear what role these cells may play in humans during normal brain maturation. In addition, there is currently tremendous speculation regarding the potential role of these cells in providing a substrate for recovery and repair after injury. This review provides an overview of the existing data regarding how neural stem and progenitor cells respond to various types of brain injury. In particular, we focus upon their role in the dentate gyrus since this brain area provides a compelling and tractable model of how the brain may use its ability for endogenous regeneration to recover from a variety of injuries.