Dean F. Mackinnon, MD



The “Hard” and “Soft” Phenotypic Boundaries of Bipolar Disorder

August 31, 2016

There is no substitute for understanding one’s patient as an individual, and treating accordingly, keeping in mind the possibility that not all psychosis is schizophrenia and that moodiness may or may not indicate a place in the bipolar spectrum.

Comorbidity of Bipolar and Panic Disorders and Its Consequences

March 01, 2007

Panic disorder occurs in about 1 in 5 individuals who have bipolar disorder. Anxiety amplifies the distress caused by depression and mania, but pharmacological approaches are tricky and under-studied. Frequent comorbidity and evidence of a possible genetic relationship of bipolar and panic disorders are suggestive of a causal relationship between the 2. Thus, it may be fruitful to look more closely at evidence for common biological abnormalities in both disorders to find a pathophysiological mechanism that links mania, depression, and panic attacks. Mood episodes and panic attacks can both be modeled as the result of deficits in amygdala-mediated emotional conditioning. From this model, some insight may be gained for potentially helpful treatment strategies for the 2 disorders when they occur together.