Alan Craig Swann, M.D. Photo

Alan Craig Swann, M.D.

Baylor College of Medicine


Menninger Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
Baylor College of Medicine
Houston, TX


Jamail Specialty Care Center (Work)
Medical Office Bldg-McNair
1977 Butler Boulevard
Suite E4.400
Houston, Texas 77030
United States
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Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (Hospital)
2002 Holcombe Blvd, Houston, TX 77030
Houston, Texas 77030
United States
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Jamail Specialty Care Center (Clinic)
1977 Butler Blvd., 4th floor
Houston, Texas 77030
United States
(713) 798-4857
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  • Board Certified
    American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology


  • MD from University of Texas Southwestern Medical School
    05/1972 - Dallas, Texas United States
  • Internship at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center
    06/1973 - New York, New York United States
  • Residency at Yale University School of Medicine
    07/1978 - New Haven, Connecticut United States


  • English


  • Male

Professional Statement

I am a Professor at Baylor College of Medicine and a staff psychiatrist at the Houston VA Medical Center. I have conducted extensive research combining clinical, neurophysiological, pharmacological, and human laboratory strategies to understand roles of impulsivity and catecholamine function in addictive disorders, cluster B personality disorders, and all phases of bipolar disorder, including the role of impulsivity in interactions between bipolar and addictive disorders and in suicidal behavior. These studies focus on early information processing and the balance between initiation and inhibition of action. We have shown that early, pre-attentive responses to stimuli are related to impulsive behavior and impaired response inhibition, with potential consequences including medically severe suicidal attempts. Catecholamine system function, interacting with glutamatergic and peptidergic systems, has a strong role in these phenomena. I also participated in a case control study of medically severe suicide attempts, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, where we studied potentially lethal impulsive and non-impulsive suicide attempts. I have carried out substantial research with lithium, including its effects on catecholamine systems in bipolar disorder and in animal models, its effects on behavior, and its pharmacology. Human behavioral research has also focused on mechanisms by which depression combines with pathological activation, an important mechanism in suicide risk. My work in animals has focused on mechanisms of behavioral sensitization that appear to link catecholamine function to development of exaggerated behavioral responses to endogenous or exogenous rewards or stressors. These findings are especially germane to stress-related or recurrent conditions that may

Professional Interests

  • Affective Disorders
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Depression and mood disorders
  • Substance Use Disorders

Physician Specialties

  • Psychiatry