The glucose regulated protein 78 (GRP78), also known as BiP, is the endoplasmatic reticulum (ER) homologue of HSP70, which plays a dual role in the ER by controlling protein folding, in order to prevent aggregation, and by regulating the signaling of the unfolded protein response (UPR). Most neurodegenerative disorders including Parkinson's, Alzheimer's diseases and progressive retinal degeneration are characterized by activation of the UPR and modified expression of GRP78. The expression levels and activity of GRP78 are altered with age raising the question of whether the lack of GRP78 could be a predisposing factor for many neurodegenerative disorders associated with age including PD, Alzheimer and Age-related macular degeneration. Attempts to induce or upregulate GRP78 in animal models of neurodegeneration have recently been made with the help of pharmacological BiP protein Inducer X (BIX) and GRP78 cDNA delivery via adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors. The results of these studies validate GRP78 as a new therapeutic target for treatments of forebrain ischemia, Parkinson disease and retinal degeneration. These data, together with the results from age-related studies, highlight the importance for developing drugs to induce elevation of endogenous GRP78 in order to increase cellular survival and extend functional longevity.