The approval in 2012 of the rheumatoid arthritis drug Tofacitinib demonstrates that kinase inhibitors are no longer just for the treatment of cancers. Could the central nervous system (CNS) be the next successful target of this growing class of drugs? Growing evidence suggests kinases play a key role in several neurological diseases, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s. However, the role of kinases within CNS-derived diseases is currently under-investigated because current compounds do a poor job of penetrating into the CNS. It is also known that kinases harbour within brain metastasis in cancer patients, leading to poor prognosis. With so much attention focused on diseases of the aging, a predicted key growth area in kinase research will be the development of CNS-penetrant tool compounds to allow the physiological roles of these kinases to be fully elucidated, leading to the possibility of new medicines for these tough neurodegenerative diseases.