Despite advances in diagnostic tools and therapeutic options, chronic kidney disease (CKD) is still a global health problem associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Insulin resistance, muscle wasting, malnutrition and chronic inflammation are highly prevalent in CKD patients. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a member of the nerve growth factor-related family and with its receptor tropomyosin-related kinase receptor B impacts cell differentiation, synaptic connectivity and plasticity of the brain. BDNF is well studied in various populations especially in the area of neurology and psychiatry. Recently, there is also an acceleration of BDNF research in CKD and accumulating evidence suggests that BDNF may be a potential prognostic marker in CKD patients. Specifically, studies have shown that BDNF is associated with insulin resistance, muscle wasting, depression, oxidative stress and inflammation in CKD patients. However, the data regarding BDNF in CKD is only in its first steps and various issues must be highlighted in upcoming studies. In this review, we have summarized the findings regarding BDNF and its relationship between insulin resistance, muscle wasting, depression, oxidative stress and inflammation in CKD patients. We also mentioned controversies and possible causes for diverse findings and suggest perspectives in the context of BDNF and CKD.