, Volume 33, Issue 11, pp 2171-2177
Date: 07 May 2008

The Septic Brain

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Sepsis is a major disease entity with important clinical implications. Sepsis-induced multiple organ failure is associated with a high mortality rate in humans and is clinically characterized by pulmonary, cardiovascular, renal and gastrointestinal dysfunction. Recently, several studies have demonstrated that sepsis survivors present long-term cognitive impairment, including alterations in memory, attention, concentration and/or global loss of cognitive function. However, the pathogenesis and natural history of septic encephalopathy and cognitive impairment are still poorly known and further understanding of these processes is necessary for the development of effective preventive and therapeutic interventions. This review discusses the clinical presentation and underlying pathophysiology of the encephalopathy and cognitive impairment associated with sepsis.