The diagnostic and therapeutic management of selected neurological diseases requiring intensive treatment is summarized with special regard for current standards and new developments in therapy. Ischemic stroke is an emergency since the outcome can be improved by immediate and adequate general supporting as well as specific (thrombolytic) therapy in specialized stroke units. Surgical evacuation of supratentorial intracerebral hemorrhage is still controversial. We give an overview of conditions in which surgical therapy such as cerebellar hemorrhage and large, nondominant ganglionic hemorrhage might be advisable. Cerebral venous thrombosis is treated with full-dose intravenous heparin even if hemorrhage is present. In acute bacterial meningitis, early treatment of foci and empiric antibiotic therapy is crucial in order to prevent complications. The outcome of herpes simplex encephalitis can be favorably influenced by treatment with aciclovir and aggressive therapy of elevated ICP and seizures. Acute Guillain-Barré syndrome requires daily monitoring of vital functions in order to recognize the need for intensive care; intravenous immunoglobulins and plasmapheresis are equally recommended for clinical and financial reasons.