Although stroke is very often the cause of death worldwide, the burden of ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke varies between regions and over time regarding differences in prognosis, prevalence of risk factors, and treatment strategies. Excitotoxicity, oxidative stress, dysfunction of the blood-brain barrier, neuroinflammation, and lysosomal membrane permeabilization, sequentially lead to the progressive death of neurons. In this process, protein kinases-related checkpoints tightly regulate N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor signaling pathways. One of the major hallmarks of cerebral ischemia is excitotoxicity, characterized by overactivation of glutamate receptors leading to intracellular Ca2+ overload and ultimately neuronal death. Thus, reduced expression of postsynaptic density-95 protein and increased protein S-nitrosylation in neurons is responsible for neuronal vulnerability in cerebral ischemia. In this chapter death-associated protein kinases, cyclin-dependent kinase 5, endoplasmic reticulum stress-induced protein kinases, hyperhomocysteinemia-related NMDA receptor overactivation, ephrin-B-dependent amplification of NMDA-evoked neuronal excitotoxicity and lysosomo-centric hypothesis have been discussed. Consequently, ample evidences have demonstrated that enhancing extrasynaptic NMDA receptor activity triggers cell death after stroke. In this context, considering the dual roles of NMDA receptors in both promoting neuronal survival and mediating neuronal damage, selective augmentation of NR2A-containing NMDA receptor activation in the presence of NR2B antagonist may constitute a promising therapy for stroke.