Igor Galynker, MD
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Mood Disorders

In 1998 Galynker published a widely cited SPECT study of cerebral perfusion in Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), which showed that in MDD, reduced cerebral blood flow was associated with negative symptoms rather than mood. This was one of the first imaging studies to demonstrate that cerebral function was not related to a specific diagnosis but to symptoms, a finding which echoed Galynker's early findings on cognitive deficits and patient function, as well as the current NIMH Research Domain Criteria Project. Galynker was also the first to report (in a case series) that low dose quetiapine and risperidone were effective for treatment of depression and anxiety a finding later supported by randomized clinical trials, leading to quetiapine approval for these indications.


While working as a resident psychiatrist, Galynker was the first to report that both hospital admissions from the ER and the duration of hospital stay in the acute psychiatric unit was influenced by cognition, suggesting that in addition to psychiatric symptoms, cognitive dysfunction should be a target of pharmacological intervention. This work anticipated later focus on treatment of cognitive dysfunction and cognitive training in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Galynker later reported on persistent cognitive deficits in opiate addicts in methadone maintenance treatment.


Another line of Galynker's research is suicide prevention. In 2010, with Dr. Zimri Yaseen he described a pre-suicidal state, the Suicide Trigger State, characterized by two patterns of thought and feeling: ruminative flooding and frantic hopelessness. This finding was later replicated in two other studies and modified scores on the STS scales were predictive of a suicide attempt within two months. In 2011, with Curren Katz he identified panic attacks as an independent risk factor for suicide attempts. Yaseen and Galynker also identified panic attacks with fear of dying as a specific risk factor for future suicide attempts. Galynker's current research aims to design an instrument to identify those at risk for imminent suicide. This project is funded by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.


While in residency working at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, Galynker synthesized [11-C]-buprenorphine for use in PET studies of opiate addiction. He later published PET studies of remitted opiate addicts which showed that cognitive deficits, negative affect, and abnormal glucose metabolism present during active drug use persisted for months and years after detoxification from methadone. With Dr. Lisa Cohen, Galynker later showed that behavioral sex addicts, such as male pedophiles, had deficits in glucose metabolism in the temporal cortex and severe character pathology that was similar but broader and more pronounced than that of the opiate-dependent subjects. In a subsequent series of reports, Cohen and Galynker described character pathology of pedophiles and other sex offenders and proposed a model for the etiology of pedophilic behavior.

MD, Yeshiva University Albert Einstein College of Medicine

PhD, Columbia University

Internship, Internal Medicine, Mount Sinai Beth Israel

Residency, Psychiatry, Mount Sinai Hospital

Physicians and scientists on the faculty of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai often interact with pharmaceutical, device, biotechnology companies, and other outside entities to improve patient care, develop new therapies and achieve scientific breakthroughs. In order to promote an ethical and transparent environment for conducting research, providing clinical care and teaching, Mount Sinai requires that salaried faculty inform the School of their outside financial relationships.

Dr. Galynker has not yet completed reporting of Industry relationships.

Mount Sinai's faculty policies relating to faculty collaboration with industry are posted on our website. Patients may wish to ask their physician about the activities they perform for companies.