Nerve cells isolated from the brain have a number of research and clinical applications, not the least of which is their transplantation to patients with Parkinson's disease. Neural primary and precursor cells of several areas of the brain are potential candidates for transplantation and research. However, supply of suitable tissue is one of the major problems associated with the widespread application of such techniques. The ability to store such tissue for prolonged periods would greatly alleviate this problem. Cryopreservation allows indefinite storage, provided the storage temperature is sufficiently low. Whilst many of the potentially usable cell types have been shown to be capable of surviving cryopreservation to some degree, survival post-thaw needs to be considerably improved. Cryopreservation techniques applied to date are mostly crude and often adopted from those used for unrelated cell types. Studies involving cryopreservation of primary neural cells and stem cells are reviewed, the basic principles of cryopreservation explained and suggestions made for improvements to the low temperature storage of these cells.