Glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPx4) is an antioxidant enzyme reported as an inhibitor of ferroptosis, a recently discovered non-apoptotic form of cell death. This pathway was initially described in cancer cells and has since been identified in hippocampal and renal cells. In this Perspective, we propose that inhibition of ferroptosis by GPx4 provides protective mechanisms against neurodegeneration. In addition, we suggest that selenium deficiency enhances susceptibility to ferroptotic processes, as well as other programmed cell death pathways due to a reduction in GPx4 activity. We review recent studies of GPx4 with an emphasis on neuronal protection, and discuss the relevance of selenium levels on its enzymatic activity.