Septic encephalopathy is frequently diagnosed in critically ill patients and in up to 70% of patients with severe systemic infection . The syndrome is defined by diffuse cerebral dysfunction or structural abnormalities attributed to the effects of systemic infection, rather than a direct central nervous system cause. The clinical characteristics can range from mild delirium to deep coma, but patients are often medically sedated making the diagnosis difficult. Any manifestation, however, is specific and markers of disease are lacking . Sepsis survivors present long term cognitive impairment, including alterations of memory, attention and concentration [10,54]. Here, we propose that neuropeptides may play a key role in septic encephalopathy, leading to a vicious circle characterized by brain disease and systemic inflammation. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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