Lorena Fernández de la Cruz

Lorena Fernández de la Cruz
Karolinska Institutet | KI · Department of Clinical Neuroscience

BSc, MSc, PhD

About

165
Publications
53,173
Reads
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3,669
Citations
Citations since 2017
115 Research Items
3306 Citations
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Introduction
I am an Assistant Professor at the “Obsessive-compulsive and related disorders across the lifespan” group at KI. I lead a research program that has the aim to study the health outcomes, life expectancy, and causes of mortality – including suicide – in anxiety, obsessive-compulsive, and tic disorders. I am also interested in the development of evidence-based treatments for the OCD-related conditions – including body dysmorphic disorder and hoarding disorder – and tic disorders.
Additional affiliations
January 2016 - present
Karolinska Institutet
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
Description
  • http://ki.se/en/cns/david-mataix-cols-research-group
August 2014 - December 2015
Karolinska Institutet
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Description
  • http://ki.se/en/cns/david-mataix-cols-research-group
August 2013 - May 2014
King's College London
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Description
  • http://www.kcl.ac.uk/ioppn/depts/cap/research/moodlab/index.aspx
Education
September 2008 - July 2013
Autonomous University of Barcelona
Field of study
  • Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology
September 2004 - July 2006
University of Barcelona
Field of study
  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychology
September 2000 - July 2004
Autonomous University of Barcelona
Field of study
  • Psychology

Publications

Publications (165)
Article
Importance Whether and under which conditions D-cycloserine (DCS) augments the effects of exposure-based cognitive behavior therapy for anxiety, obsessive-compulsive, and posttraumatic stress disorders is unclear. Objective To clarify whether DCS is superior to placebo in augmenting the effects of cognitive behavior therapy for anxiety, obsessive-...
Article
Background Persons with neuropsychiatric disorders are at increased risk of suicide, but there is little data concerning Tourette’s and chronic tic disorders (TD/CTD). We aimed to quantify the risk of suicidal behavior in a large nationwide cohort of patients with TD/CTD, establish the contribution of psychiatric comorbidity to this risk, and ident...
Article
Full-text available
The risk of death by suicide in individuals with obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) is largely unknown. Previous studies have been small and methodologically flawed. We analyzed data from the Swedish national registers to estimate the risk of suicide in OCD and identify the risk and protective factors associated with suicidal behavior in this grou...
Article
Full-text available
Background Obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) has similar prevalence rates across ethnic groups. However, ethnic minorities are underrepresented in clinical trials of OCD. It is unclear whether this is also the case in clinical services. Aims To explore whether ethnic minorities with OCD are underrepresented in secondary and tertiary mental health...
Article
Importance: Maternal immune activation (MIA) leading to altered neurodevelopment in utero is a hypothesized risk factor for psychiatric outcomes in offspring. Primary antibody immunodeficiencies (PIDs) constitute a unique natural experiment to test the MIA hypothesis of mental disorders. Objective: To assess the association of maternal and pater...
Preprint
Background: Previous research has shown a marked increase in the levels of worry related to climate change in the population and has described that some individuals experience significant impairment in everyday life functioning due to this worry. The aim of the current study was to extend those findings using gold standard measures of worry and imp...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: The operational definitions of treatment response, partial response, and remission in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) are widely used in clinical trials and regular practice. However, the clinimetric sensitivity of these definitions, that is, whether they identify patients that experience meaningful changes in their everyday life...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose Individuals with obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) often report driving-related obsessions, such as fears of causing accidents, but the risk of transport accidents in OCD is unknown. We investigated whether individuals with OCD have an increased risk of serious transport accidents and convictions due to traffic offenses and explored the r...
Article
Full-text available
Objective Maternal exposure to cardiovascular disease (CVD) is associated with adverse maternal and neonatal health outcomes. However, its association with offspring’s long-term neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) is not yet known. We aimed to investigate the association between maternal pre-existing CVDs and children’s NDDs. ApproachThis nationwid...
Article
Importance: The availability of behavior therapy for individuals with Tourette syndrome (TS) and chronic tic disorder (CTD) is limited. Objective: To determine the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of internet-delivered exposure and response prevention (ERP) for children and adolescents with TS or CTD. Design, setting, and participants: This sin...
Article
In clinical trials of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), clinical outcomes are generally measured using lengthy clinician-administered interviews. However, in routine clinical practice, many clinicians lack the time to administer such instruments. This study evaluated cut-offs for treatment response and remission in OCD using the self-rated Obses...
Article
Background Post-infectious autoimmune processes are hypothesized to be causally related to both obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and tic disorders, but current evidence is conflicting. This study examined whether prenatal maternal (and paternal, as an internal control) infections and early childhood infections in the offspring (i.e., during the...
Article
Full-text available
Individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) more often think about, attempt, and die by suicide than individuals from the general population. Sexual and religious obsessions (i.e., taboo obsessions) have been linked to increased risk of suicidality, but it is unclear if they explain additional risk over and above other risk factors. We ref...
Article
Full-text available
The Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale Modified for Body Dysmorphic Disorder for Adolescents (BDD-YBOCS-A) is a clinician-rated measure of BDD symptom severity in youth. Despite widespread use in both research and clinical practice, its psychometric properties have not been formally evaluated. The current study examined the factor structure, rel...
Article
Importance: Neurobiological models have postulated shared neural mechanisms between obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and substance use disorders, but results from clinical and epidemiological studies are conflicting or even suggest that OCD may be protective against substance misuse. Objective: To investigate whether OCD and obsessive-compuls...
Article
Full-text available
Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) typically originates in adolescence and is associated with considerable adversity. Evidence-based treatments exist but research on clinical outcomes in naturalistic settings is extremely scarce. We evaluated the short- and long-term outcomes of a large cohort of adolescents with BDD receiving specialist multimodal tre...
Chapter
Tourette syndrome (TS) is now recognized as a common neurodevelopmental disorder affecting children and adults. It has gained increasingly public awareness and scientific interest worldwide. Knowledge of its clinical presentation and available treatment approaches has increased dramatically over the last two decades. Tourette Syndrome offers a uniq...
Preprint
Full-text available
In clinical trials of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), clinical outcomes are generally measured using lengthy clinician-administered interviews. However, in routine clinical practice, many clinicians lack the time to administer such instruments. This study evaluated cut-offs for treatment response and remission in OCD using the self-rated Obses...
Article
Importance: Tic disorders are associated with multiple social adversities, but little is known about the experience of violent assault (including sexual assault) and criminality in this group. Objective: To establish if Tourette syndrome (TS) and chronic tic disorder (CTD) are associated with an increased risk of experiencing violent assault and...
Article
Full-text available
Little is known about the contribution of pregnancy-related parental and perinatal factors to the development of stress-related disorders. We aimed to investigate whether parental/perinatal adversities entail higher risks of stress-related disorders in the offspring, later in life, by accounting for genetic and early environmental factors. Based on...
Article
Current knowledge on the general somatic health of individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is very limited. Here, we critically review the emerging literature on the topic. Rapidly accumulating evidence indicates an association between OCD and autoimmune diseases, which is not limited to streptococcus-related conditions. Similarly, an...
Preprint
BACKGROUND: Depression and anxiety are known risk factors for patients with myocardial infarction (MI). However, the association of a previous psychiatric diagnosis of depression or anxiety, or such self-reported symptoms, with cardiovascular outcomes and mortality post MI has not previously been examined in the same nationwide cohort. METHODS: Us...
Article
Full-text available
Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) often starts in childhood, with most cases developing symptoms before age 18. Yet, BDD research has primarily focused on adults. We report the clinical characteristics of the world's largest cohort of carefully diagnosed youths with BDD and focus on previously unexplored sex and age differences. We systematically coll...
Article
Full-text available
Background Cesarean delivery (CD) has been associated with postpartum psychiatric disorders, but less is known about the risk of suicidal behaviors. We estimated the incidence and risk of suicide attempts and deaths during the first postpartum year in mothers who delivered via CD v. vaginally. Method All deliveries in Sweden between 1973 and 2012...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: In the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Edition (ICD-10), hypochondriasis (illness anxiety disorder) and dysmorphophobia (body dysmorphic disorder) share the same diagnostic code (F45.2). However, the Swedish ICD-10 allows for these disorders to be coded separately (F45.2 and F45.2A, respectively), potentially offering u...
Article
Full-text available
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) frequently co-occur. Standard cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) for OCD outcomes are poorer in young people with ASD, compared to those without. The aim of this naturalistic study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a novel adolescent autism-adapted CBT manual for OCD in a spec...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Insomnia is common in Tourette syndrome (TS) and chronic tic disorder (CTD), but precise prevalence estimates are lacking. Objective: In this Swedish register-based cohort study, we estimated the prevalence of insomnia in TS/CTD and quantified the magnitude of this association, accounting for familial confounders and relevant somatic...
Article
Full-text available
Background Treatment guidelines recommend behaviour therapy (BT) for patients with Tourette syndrome (TS) and chronic tic disorder (CTD). However, BT is rarely accessible due to limited availability of trained therapists and long travel distances to specialist clinics. Internet-delivered BT has the potential of overcoming these barriers through rem...
Preprint
Background: Treatment guidelines recommend behaviour therapy (BT) for patients with Tourette syndrome (TS) and chronic tic disorder (CTD). However, BT is rarely accessible due to limited availability of trained therapists and long travel distances to specialist clinics. Internet-delivered BT has the potential of overcoming these barriers through re...
Article
Importance Severe forms of Tourette syndrome or chronic tic disorder (TS/CTD) may involve repeated head jerking. Isolated case reports have described a spectrum of severe neck disorders in individuals with TS/CTD. However, the nature and prevalence of cervical spine disorders in TS/CTD are unknown. Objective To establish if TS/CTD are associated w...
Article
Full-text available
It is unclear if the results of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of behaviour therapy (BT) for Tourette syndrome (TS) and chronic tic disorder (CTD) can be generalised to naturalistic clinical settings and are durable long-term. In this naturalistic study, 74 young people with TS/CTD received BT at a specialist clinic. Data were collected at bas...
Article
Full-text available
In the latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) included a new “tic-related” specifier. However, strong evidence supporting tic-related OCD as a distinct subtype of OCD is lacking. This study investigated whether, at the population level, tic-related OCD has a stronger...
Article
Full-text available
Obsessive−compulsive disorder (OCD) is associated with high risk of suicide. It is yet unknown whether OCD and suicidal behaviors coaggregate in families and, if so, what are the mechanisms underlying this coaggregation. In a population-based birth cohort and family study, we linked individuals born in Sweden in 1967-2003 (n = 3,594,181) to their p...
Article
Full-text available
Importance: Recent studies suggest that cesarean delivery (CD) is associated with increased risk of neurodevelopmental disorders in children, although they were unable to control for indications for CD or familial confounding beyond full siblings. Objective: To examine the association between CD and neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders i...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Little is known about the lived experiences of individuals with tic disorders when driving vehicles or trying to obtain a driving license. Objective: To survey the driving-related experiences of adults with tic disorders. Methods: A global survey was disseminated via social media, international patient organizations, and experts be...
Article
Full-text available
Importance Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been associated with impaired educational performance. Previous studies on the disorder could not control for important measured and unmeasured confounders. Objective To prospectively investigate the association between PTSD and objective indicators of educational attainment across the life span,...
Article
Full-text available
Current knowledge on the general somatic health and causes of death in Tourette syndrome and chronic tic disorder is very limited. Here, we review the available literature on the topic, while highlighting strengths and weaknesses of the studies conducted to date. These previous works have suggested associations between Tourette syndrome and chronic...
Article
Full-text available
Individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) may have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), but evidence for specific types of CVD is limited. This population-based, sibling-controlled cohort study investigated the risk of specific CVD in individuals with OCD. Linking data from various Swedish population-based registers, we exp...
Article
Full-text available
Background : Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) has been linked with elevated risk of suicidality. However, most previous studies have been cross-sectional, and little is known about the aetiology of the association between obsessive-compulsive symptoms (OCS) and suicidality in young adults. Methods : Participants were members of the Child and Ad...
Article
Full-text available
Determining response or remission status in body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) usually requires a lengthy interview with a trained clinician. This study sought to establish empirically derived cut-offs to define treatment response and remission in BDD using a brief self-reported instrument, the Appearance Anxiety Inventory (AAI). Results from three cli...
Article
Full-text available
Background: It is unknown whether individuals with tic disorders are at increased risk for serious transport accidents. Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate the risk for injuries or death caused by transport and motor vehicle accidents in individuals with Tourette syndrome or chronic tic disorder. Methods: This population-based...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Previous research indicates that body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is associated with risk of suicidality. However, studies have relied on small and/or specialist samples and largely focussed on adults, despite these difficulties commonly emerging in youth. Furthermore, the aetiology of the relationship remains unknown. Methods: Two ind...
Article
Background: Psychiatric comorbidities are common and major determinants of quality of life in idiopathic dystonia. Their prevalence estimates from service-based studies are heterogeneous. Objective: We explored the association between idiopathic dystonia and depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, suicide attempts, and death by suicide using Sw...
Article
Full-text available
Pediatric body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is challenging to treat. This study aimed to establish the prevalence of insomnia in youth with BDD and explore its impact on clinical outcomes. Sixty-six children and adolescents with BDD consecutively referred to a specialist clinic completed a range of clinical measures, including the Yale-Brown Obsessive...
Article
Background It remains unclear if individuals with Tourette syndrome (TS) or chronic tic disorder (CTD) have an elevated risk of subsequent substance misuse. Methods In this population-based cohort study, we investigated the association between ICD diagnoses of TS/CTD and substance misuse outcomes, accounting for psychiatric comorbidity and familia...
Preprint
Background: Treatment guidelines recommend behaviour therapy (BT) as the first-line intervention for patients with Tourette syndrome (TS) and chronic tic disorder (CTD). The efficacy of BT has been documented in randomised controlled trials (RCTs), but it is unclear to what extent these results are generalisable to real-world clinical settings, and...
Article
Full-text available
Importance The hypothesis that disrupted immune function is implicated in the pathophysiology of psychiatric disorders and suicide is gaining traction, but the underlying mechanisms are largely unknown. Primary humoral immunodeficiencies (PIDs) are rare deficiencies of the immune system—mainly dysfunction of antibody production—and are associated w...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Population-based administrative registers are often used for research purposes. However, their potential usefulness depends on the validity of the registered information. This study assessed the validity of the recorded codes for social anxiety disorder (SAD), also known as social phobia, in the Swedish National Patient Register (NPR)....
Preprint
A global survey of the perceived impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the severity of tics in persons with Tourette syndrome (TS) or chronic tic disorder (CTD).
Chapter
Hoarding disorder (HD) is a mental disorder that was newly included in the obsessive–compulsive and related disorders chapter of the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). It is also planned for inclusion in the International Classification of Diseases, eleventh revision (ICD-11). Individuals meeting the...
Preprint
Determining response or remission status in body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) usually requires a lengthy interview with a trained clinician. This study sought to establish empirically derived cut-offs to define treatment response and remission in BDD using a brief self-reported instrument, the Appearance Anxiety Inventory (AAI). Results from three cli...
Article
Background: The association between specific psychiatric disorders and insomnia is well established, but the prevalence of insomnia in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is unknown. This population-based study examined the prevalence of insomnia in patients with OCD compared to unaffected individuals from the general population and to their unaff...
Article
Full-text available
Background Social anxiety disorder (SAD) has been linked to academic underachievement, but previous studies had methodological limitations. We investigated the association between SAD and objective indicators of educational performance, controlling for a number of covariates and unmeasured confounders shared between siblings. Methods This populati...
Preprint
Full-text available
BACKGROUND: Population-based administrative registers are often used for research purposes. However, their potential usefulness depends on the validity of the registered information. This study assessed the validity of the recorded codes for social anxiety disorder (SAD) in the Swedish National Patient Register (NPR). METHODS: The personal identifi...
Article
Sudden gains have been associated with better short- and long-term treatment outcomes in a number of psychiatric disorders. However, no studies to date have evaluated sudden gains in body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). We used data from a previous randomized controlled trial evaluating the efficacy of an Internet-based cognitive-behavior treatment (CBT...
Article
Full-text available
Background The number of clinical trials in body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) has steadily increased in recent years. As the number of studies grows, it is important to define the most empirically useful definitions for response and remission in order to enhance field-wide consistency and comparisons of treatment outcomes across studies. In this study...
Article
Full-text available
Objective To assess whether severe psychiatric reactions to trauma and other adversities are associated with subsequent risk of life threatening infections. Design Population and sibling matched cohort study. Setting Swedish population. Participants 144 919 individuals with stress related disorders (post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), acute s...
Article
Full-text available
Immune dysregulation due to chronic inflammation is a hypothesized risk factor underlying psychiatric disorders and suicidal behavior. Whether tonsillectomy and acute appendicitis used, respectively, as proxies for chronic and acute inflammation within the mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) are associated with psychiatric disorders and suicid...
Article
Advances in the last 4 decades have enormously improved the lives of persons with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), a condition once thought to be both rare and untreatable. We now know that OCD is both common and treatable. Most individuals with OCD experience symptom relief after receiving evidence-based psychological and/or pharmacological tr...
Article
Approximately one third of individuals who experience a severe traumatic event will develop posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is crucial to identify what factors may be associated with increased or decreased risk for PTSD. We conducted an umbrella review of systematic reviews and meta-analyses of risk/protective factors for PTSD and assessed...
Article
The apparent efficacy of d-cycloserine (DCS) for enhancing exposure treatment for anxiety disorders appears to have declined over the past 14 years. We examined whether variations in how DCS has been administered can account for this "declining effect". We also investigated the association between DCS administration characteristics and treatment ou...