We face a profound and emerging public health problem in the form of acute and chronic brain dysfunction. This affects both young and elderly intensive care unit survivors and is altering the landscape of society. Two-thirds of intensive care unit patients develop delirium, and this is associated with longer stays, increased costs, and excess mortality. In addition, over half of intensive care unit survivors suffer a dementia-like illness that impacts their physical and cognitive functional abilities and which appears to be related to the duration of their intensive care unit delirium. A new paradigm of how intensivists handle the brain is required. We propose a three-step approach to address this emerging epidemic, which includes Screening, Prevention, and Restoration of brain function (SPR). Screening combines risk factor identification and delirium assessment using validated instruments. Prevention of acute and chronic brain dysfunction requires implementation of a core model of care that combines evidence-based practices: awakening and breathing, coordination with target-based sedation, delirium monitoring, and exercise/early mobility (ABCDE). Restoration introduces strategies of ongoing screening and treatment for intensive care unit survivors at high risk of ongoing brain dysfunction. This practical system applying many evidence-based concepts incorporates personalized medicine, systems-based practice, and continuing research and development toward improving acute and chronic cognitive outcomes.