A major problem in the field of neurodegeneration is the basis of selective vulnerability of subsets of neurons to disease. In aging, Alzheimer's disease (AD), and other disorders such as temporal lobe epilepsy, the superficial layers of the entorhinal cortex (EC) are an area of selective vulnerability. In AD, it has been suggested that the degeneration of these neurons may play a role in causing the disease because it occurs at an early stage. Therefore, it is important to define the distinctive characteristics of the EC that make this region particularly vulnerable. It has been shown that neurotrophins such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) are critical to the maintenance of the cortical neurons in the adult brain, and specifically the EC. Here we review the circuitry, distinctive functions, and neurotrophin-dependence of the EC that are relevant to its vulnerability. We also suggest that a protein that is critical to the actions of BDNF, the ARMS/Kidins220 scaffold protein, plays an important role in neurotrophic support of the EC.