The intensive care unit is an area where high-technology life support systems are capable of turning around multiple organ system failure. By its nature, this care plan confers a great deal of stress on the patient and sets the stage for the phenomenon of brain failure, a syndrome where neurotransmission is disrupted by the combined forces of environmental stress and underlying disease. When agitation follows brain failure, the resulting condition may result in formidable somatic aftermath. Accurate recognition of brain failure and its comorbidities can facilitate effective treatment and avoid long-term hemodynamic and metabolic consequences. Computer-interpreted cerebral function monitors can noninvasively assay cerebral function at the neuronal level under heavy sedation regimens when the visual clues of brain function disappear.