This review will examine the known and postulated relationships between nucleotide excision repair (NER) and neurological diseases. We will begin with a description of NER and its subpathways: global genomic repair (GGR), transcription-coupled repair (TCR) and transcription domain-associated repair (DAR). As far as they are known, the underlying molecular mechanisms will be discussed. We will only briefly touch on the possible contribution of NER to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, but concentrate on neurological symptoms in NER-deficient patients. These are mainly observed in two clinical entities, Xeroderma pigmentosum (XP) and Cockayne syndrome (CS), and we shall try to understand why and how a deficit in DNA repair may result in neurological dysfunctions. The links between NER and neurological disease are also discussed in contributions by Brooks and by Niedernhofer, in this volume.