Apoptosis is a selective cell deletion process which requires the triggering of a specific cell death programme. Two main pathways determining cell death have been identified: the extrinsic or receptor-mediated pathway, activated in response to extracellular pro-apoptotic signals, and the intrinsic pathway, activated by extracellular receptor-independent stimuli or by intracellular insults, such as DNA damage and oxidative stress. All these stress signals are integrated by mitochondria which participate by releasing the main effectors of this process: a family of aspartic-specific proteases known as caspase. Today there is much evidence to suggest that deregulation of apoptosis is a key feature of many neurodegenerative disease. Our group sought cell models for the study of apoptotic pathways and for the evaluation of the role of apoptosis in specific neurodegenerative diseases. We focused on oxidative stress-induced apoptosis and activation of the intrinsic mitochondrial pathway. In our in-vitro model, lymphocytes from patients and control subjects were cultured both in basal conditions and with 2-deoxy-D-ribose (dRib), a reducing sugar which induces apoptosis through oxidative stress. In the last ten years, we evaluated the role of apoptosis in the pathogenesis of several neurodegenerative diseases: Ataxiatelangiectasia,Rett syndrome, Mitochondrial disease, Cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy (CADASIL). Here we report some of our ongoing and recently published articles.