Neurodegenerative diseases include Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease that are very common and other diseases that are notorious but occur less often such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. In each case a protein is closely linked to the pathology of these diseases. These proteins include alpha-synuclein, the prion protein and A. Despite first being discovered because of aggregates of these amyloidogenic proteins found in the brains of patients, these proteins all exist in the healthy brain where their normal function involves binding of metals. Recognition of these proteins as metalloproteins implies that the diseases they are associated with are possibly diseases with altered metal metabolism at their heart. This review considers the evidence that cell death in these diseases involves not just the aggregated proteins but also the metals they bind.