Charcot-Marle-Tooth disease (CMT) is the most common inherited disorder of the peripheral nervous system, and mutations in neurofilaments have been linked to some forms of CMT. Neurofilaments are the major intermediate filaments of neurones, but the mechanisms by which the CMT mutations induce disease are not known. Here, we demonstrate that CMT mutant neurofilaments disrupt both neurofilament assembly and axonal transport of neurofilaments in cultured mammalian cells and neurones. We also show that CMT mutant neurofilaments perturb the localization of mitochondria in neurones. Accumulations of neurofilaments are a pathological feature of several neurodegenerative diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, and diabetic neuropathy. Our results demonstrate that aberrant neurofilament assembly and transport can induce neurological disease, and further implicate defective neurofilament metabolism in the pathogenesis of human neurodegenerative diseases.