Impairments in translation have been increasingly implicated in the pathogenesis and progression of multiple neurodegenerative diseases. Assessing the spatiotemporal dynamics of translation in the context of disease is a major challenge. Recent developments in proteomic analyses have enabled the resolution of nascent peptides in a short timescale on the order of minutes. In addition, a quantitative analysis of translation has progressed in vivo, showing remarkable potential for coupling these techniques with cognitive and behavioral outcomes. Here, we review these modern approaches to measure changes in translation and ribosomal function with a specific focus on current applications in the mammalian brain and in the study of neurodegenerative diseases.