Pragmatic approaches to assessment and management of bipolar disorder

Date: Tuesday 18 June
Time: 4.10pm - 5.25pm
Stream: Psychopharmacology


Bipolar disorder and related conditions remain complex to assess and difficult to manage. Delegates will gain cutting edge knowledge about measuring and treating important aspects of bipolar disorders.  This session will review and provide state of the art updates from leading experts in the field and  will comprise three speakers.  

  • Professor Sachs (Harvard University) will outline a systematic collaborative care approach with emphasis on the importance of establishing concordance on a treatment goal, focused assessment, defining decision points, prioritizing proven treatments, knowledge of salient individual factors and the serial use of measure-based guidance. Use of the Bipolarity Index and how to adjust treatments based on measured changes will be reviewed.
  • Dr Kathleen Merikangas (NIMH, USA) will review a broad range of data that reflect the heterogenic phenotypic manifestations of BD that include dimensional and categorical measures of mood, neurocognitive, personality, behavior, sleep and circadian, life-story, and outcomes domains. In combination with genetic and biological information such an approach promotes the integrating and harmonizing of data within and across current ontology systems while supporting a paradigm shift that will facilitate discovery and become the basis for novel hypotheses. 
  • Dr Rebecca Strawbridge (King's College London) will outline the challenges inherent in treating rapid cycling bipolar disorders (  Although many interventions appeared efficacious, there is a lack of robust evidence for most treatments. Given the limited and heterogeneous evidence base, the optimal treatment strategies for people with RCBD are yet to be established

This session aims to:

  • review the clinical challenges inherent in bipolar disorder and pragmatic approaches to overcoming these
  • review the heterogenic phenotypic manifestations of bipolar disorder and how to best address these in research efforts
  • review the current evidence base for treating rapid-cycling bipolar disorder


Chair: Professor Allan Young, King's College London

Professor Gary Sachs, Harvard University, Boston, USA

Dr Kathleen Merikangas, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), Washington DC, USA

Dr Rebecca Strawbridge, King's College London

Please email or call 020 8618 4120 with any enquiries.