Activity-dependent neuroprotective protein (ADNP) is essential for brain formation. The gene encoding ADNP is highly conserved and abundantly expressed in the brain. ADNP contains a homeobox profile and a peptide motif providing neuroprotection against a variety of cytotoxic insults. ADNP mRNA and protein expression responds to brain injury and oscillates as a function of the estrus cycle. The plastic nature of ADNP expression is correlated with brain protection and an association between neuroendocrine regulation and neuroprotection is put forth with ADNP as a focal point. Further understanding of neuroprotective molecules should pave the path to better diagnostics and therapies. In this respect, structure-activity studies have identified a short 8 amino acid peptide in ADNP/NAPVSIPQ (NAP) that provides potent neuroprotection. NAP is currently in clinical development for neuroprotection.