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Neurons decentralize protein synthesis from the cell body to support the active metabolism of remote dendritic and axonal compartments. The neuronal RNA transport apparatus, composed of cis-acting RNA regulatory elements, neuronal transport granule proteins, and motor adaptor complexes, drives the long-distance RNA trafficking required for local protein synthesis. Over the past decade, advances in human genetics, subcellular biochemistry, and high-resolution imaging have implicated each member of the apparatus in several neurodegenerative diseases, establishing failed RNA transport and associated processes as a unifying pathomechanism. In this review, we deconstruct the RNA transport apparatus, exploring each constituent's role in RNA localization and illuminating their unique contributions to neurodegeneration.