Chronic kidney disease, defined as a reduced glomerular filtration rate or increased urinary albumin excretion, is recognised as a rapidly growing global health burden, and increasing evidence suggests that it contributes to the risk and severity of cerebrovascular diseases. In particular, chronic kidney disease is an established risk factor for stroke and is also strongly associated with subclinical cerebrovascular abnormalities and cognitive impairment, partly because it shares several traditional and non-traditional risk factors, and sometimes uraemia-related and dialysis-related factors, with cerebrovascular diseases. The effect of chronic kidney disease on incident stroke differs among regions and races and is greater in Asian than in non-Asian people. Chronic kidney disease seems to be predictive of severe neurological deficits and poor vital and functional outcomes after both ischaemic and haemorrhagic strokes, which is partly due to the limitations of pharmacotherapies, including limited use and effects of novel oral anticoagulants, other antithrombotic treatments, and reperfusion treatment for hyperacute ischaemic stroke. In view of the strong two-way association between stroke and kidney disease, the pathophysiological interactions between the brain and kidney should be the subject of intensive study.