The goal of the present contribution is to discuss the relationships among brain oxygen tension, energy (ATP) level, and ion gradients and movements. The function of the CNS, the generation and transmission of impulses, is determined to a large extent by the movements of ions. Hence elucidation of these relationships is necessary to the understanding of how brain works. Moreover, such knowledge is indispensable for the design of rational therapies for treatment of a large group of pathological states caused by lack of oxygen. This paper is partly a review and partly an original contribution although the former involves to a considerable extent, results obtained in our laboratories. It is divided into 3 parts: a) a very brief general introduction which reminds the reader some well-known facts; b) presentation and discussion of data; and c) conclusions and/or predictions.