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Sepsis-associated encephalopathy (SAE) is defined as a diffuse or multifocal cerebral dysfunction induced by the systemic response to the infection without clinical or laboratory evidence of direct brain infection. Its pathogenesis is multifactorial. SAE generally occurs early during severe sepsis and precedes multiple-organ failure. The most common clinical feature of SAE is the consciousness alteration which ranges from mildly reduced awareness to unresponsiveness and coma. Diagnosis of SAE is primarily clinical and depends on the exclusion of other possible causes of brain deterioration. Electroencephalography (EEG) is almost sensitive, but it is not specific for SAE. Computed Tomography (CT) head scan generally is negative in case of SAE, while Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) can show brain abnormalities in case of SAE, but they are not specific for this condition. Somatosensitive Evoked Potentials (SEPs) are sensitive markers of developing cerebral dysfunction in sepsis. Cerebrospinal fluid (CBF) analysis is generally normal, a part an inconstant elevation of proteins concentration. S100B and NSE have been proposed like biomarkers for diagnosis of SAE, but the existing data are controversial. SAE is reversible even if survivors of severe sepsis have often long lasting or irreversible cognitive and behavioral sequel; however the presence of SAE can have a negative influence on survival. A specific therapy of SAE does not exist and the outcome depends on a prompt and appropriate treatment of sepsis as whole.