Neurocognitively-Defined Subtypes in Bipolar Disorder: A Path to More Personalized Treatments

Tuesday, June 11, 2024
Neurocognitively-Defined Subtypes in Bipolar Disorder: A Path to More Personalized Treatments

Bipolar disorder (BD) is a complex disease that varies notably in different patients, clinically, cognitively, and in terms of brain function. The reliance on traditional disease classifications (e.g., DSM categorical diagnoses) has yielded an incomplete understanding of the illness. To overcome this, we have applied empirical approaches to classify individuals along neurobiologically relevant dimensions into more homogenous subgroups. These novel subtypes can then be further characterized on the basis of behavioral and biological markers to identify modifiable risk factors that contribute to poor outcomes in people with BD. It is our hope that this approach will make possible a more personalized approach to treatment.

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Presented by 
Katherine E. Burdick. Ph.D.
Katherine E. Burdick. Ph.D.

Jonathan F. Borus, M.D. Distinguished Chair in Psychiatry

Vice Chair for Research in Psychiatry

Director of the Mood and Psychosis Research Program

Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Professor in Psychiatry

Harvard Medical School

2021 Colvin Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Mood Disorders Research

2014 Independent Investigator Grant

2005 Young Investigator Grant


Dr. Katherine E. Burdick is the Jonathan F. Borus, MD Distinguished Chair in Psychiatry and the Vice Chair for Research in Psychiatry at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA. She is the Director of the Mood and Psychosis Research Program at BWH and is a Professor at Harvard Medical School.  She is also a Scientific Director for the Integrated Network of the Breakthrough Discoveries for thriving with Bipolar Disorder (BD2). Dr. Burdick’s work is focused on neurocognition in major psychiatric disorders, with a specific expertise in bipolar disorder (BD). One of the first in the field to acknowledge the presence of cognitive impairment in BD, she has dedicated the past two decades to investigating the clinical, biological, neuroimaging, genetic, and functional correlates of this phenomenon. Dr. Burdick’s work has also highlighted the need to target this domain directly with treatment to promote full recovery in every patient. She has published more than 170 articles and has received several awards for her work in this area, including the prestigious Colvin Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Mood Disorders Research from BBRF and the Klerman Award from the DBSA in 2023. She is a dedicated mentor and hopes to help to cultivate the next generation of researchers in the mood disorders field.

Moderated by
Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D.
Brain & Behavior Research Foundation

Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D., serves as the President & CEO of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, the largest private funder of mental health research grants. Dr. Borenstein developed the Emmy-nominated public television program “Healthy Minds,” and serves as host and executive producer of the series. The program, broadcast nationwide, is available online, and focuses on topics in psychiatry in order to educate the public, reduce stigma and offer a message of hope. Dr. Borenstein also serves as Editor-in-Chief of Psychiatric News, the newspaper of the American Psychiatric Association.

Dr. Borenstein is a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine and serves as the Chair of the Section of Psychiatry at the Academy. He also has served as the President of the New York State Psychiatric Association. Dr. Borenstein earned his undergraduate degree at Harvard and his medical degree at New York University.