Mitochondrial malfunctioning is implicated in the pathogenesis of a variety of disorders, including cancer and multiple neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Huntington's disease. Disturbance of mitochondrial vital functions, e.g., production of ATP, calcium buffering capacity, and generation of reactive oxygen species, can be potentially involved in disease pathogenesis. Neurological disorders caused by mitochondrial deterioration are often associated with cell loss within specific brain regions. In contrast, mitochondrial alterations in tumor cells and the "Warburg effect" might lead to cell survival and resistance of tumor cells to chemotherapy. This review is devoted to the role of mitochondria in neurodegeneration and tumor formation, and describes how targeting of mitochondria can be beneficial in the therapy of these diseases, which affect a large human population.