Nucleotide binding domain, leucine-rich repeat containing proteins (NLRs) are a family of pattern recognition receptors involved in major innate immune defense mechanisms. NLRs play a key role in several cancers, autoimmune, and inflammation-associated diseases. Association of NLRP3 has been widely investigated in neurodegenerative diseases, chronic alcoholism, depression, traumatic brain injury, and pathogenic infections. Several research studies have shown possible involvement of various other inflammasome-forming and non-inflammasome-forming NLRs in the brain; however, their mechanisms of action are yet to be defined clearly. Our review provides a comprehensive overview of the expression of NLRs in human brain and their critical association with inflammation and neurodegenerative diseases. The review also summarizes promising NLR-targeted therapeutics and their prospects for brain pathologies. © 2018, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.