One of the most promising methods to treat neurodegeneration is noninvasive transcranial near-infrared laser therapy (NILT), which appears to promote acute neuroprotection by stimulating mitochondrial function, thereby increasing cellular energy production. NILT may also promote chronic neuronal function restoration via trophic factor-mediated plasticity changes or possibly neurogenesis. Clearly, NILT is a treatment that confers neuroprotection or neurorestoration using pleiotropic mechanisms. The most advanced application of NILT is for acute ischemic stroke based upon extensive preclinical and clinical studies. In laboratory settings, NILT is also being developed to treat traumatic brain injury, Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. There is some intriguing data in the literature that suggests that NILT may be a method to promote clinical improvement in neurodegenerative diseases where there is a common mechanistic component, mitochondrial dysfunction and energy impairment. This article will analyze and review data supporting the continued development of NILT to treat neurodegenerative diseases.