A central and causative feature of age-related neurodegenerative disease is the deposition of misfolded proteins in the brain. To devise novel approaches to treatment, regulatory pathways that modulate these aggregation-prone proteins must be defined. One such pathway is post-translational modification by the addition of poly(ADP-ribose) (PAR), which promotes protein recruitment and localization in several cellular contexts. Mounting evidence implicates PAR in seeding the abnormal localization and accumulation of proteins that are causative of neurodegenerative disease. Inhibitors of PAR polymerase (PARP) activity have been developed as cancer therapeutics, raising the possibility that they could be used to treat neurodegenerative disease. We focus on pathways regulated by PAR in neurodegenerative disease, with emphasis on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal degeneration (FTD).