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Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) may gradually worsen to dementia, but often remains stable for extended periods of time. Little is known about the predictors of decline to help explain this variation. We aimed to explore whether this heterogeneous course of MCI may be predicted by the presence of Lewy body (LB) symptoms in a prospectively-recruited longitudinal cohort of MCI with Lewy bodies (MCI-LB) and Alzheimer's disease (MCI-AD).
A prospective cohort (n = 76) aged ⩾60 years underwent detailed assessment after recent MCI diagnosis, and were followed up annually with repeated neuropsychological testing and clinical review of cognitive status and LB symptoms. Latent class mixture modelling identified data-driven sub-groups with distinct trajectories of global cognitive function.
Three distinct trajectories were identified in the full cohort: slow/stable progression (46%), intermediate progressive decline (41%) and a small group with a much faster decline (13%). The presence of LB symptomology, and visual hallucinations in particular, predicted decline v. a stable cognitive trajectory. With time zeroed on study end (death, dementia or withdrawal) where available (n = 39), the same subgroups were identified. Adjustment for baseline functioning obscured the presence of any latent classes, suggesting that baseline function is an important parameter in prospective decline.
These results highlight some potential signals for impending decline in MCI; poorer baseline function and the presence of probable LB symptoms – particularly visual hallucinations. Identifying people with a rapid decline is important but our findings are preliminary given the modest cohort size.
Renewable energy can provide a host of benefits to society. In addition to the reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, governments have enacted renewable energy (RE) policies to meet a number of objectives including the creation of local environmental and health benefits; facilitation of energy access, particularly for rural areas; advancement of energy security goals by diversifying the portfolio of energy technologies and resources; and improving social and economic development through potential employment opportunities. Energy access and social and economic development have been the primary drivers in developing countries whereas ensuring a secure energy supply and environmental concerns have been most important in developed countries.
An increasing number and variety of RE policies–motivated by a variety of factors–have driven substantial growth of RE technologies in recent years. Government policies have played a crucial role in accelerating the deployment of RE technologies. At the same time, not all RE policies have proven effective and efficient in rapidly or substantially increasing RE deployment. The focus of policies is broadening from a concentration almost entirely on RE electricity to include RE heating and cooling and transportation.
RE policies have promoted an increase in RE capacity installations by helping to overcome various barriers. Barriers specific to RE policymaking (e.g., a lack of information and awareness), to implementation (e.g., a lack of an educated and trained workforce to match developing RE technologies) and to financing (e.g., market failures) may further impede deployment of RE.
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