IDEAL study seeks "exceptional agers"

IDEAL (Insight into Determinants of Exceptional Aging and Longevity) is a special project of NIA's Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA). For over 50 years, BLSA researchers have studied changes that take place physically and cognitively over time in an attempt to better understand what happens as people get older.  IDEAL expands the scope of the BLSA by focusing on a small but growing segment of the aging population known as ”exceptional agers.”  Exceptional agers are 80 or older, healthy, and have no physical or cognitive limitations.  Understanding what makes this group different from others their age may provide important clues on how to preserve physical and cognitive function in late life and prevent disease and disability.  Participants in the IDEAL study will be evaluated annually to identify the genetic, biologic, and behavioral factors that promote healthy aging. 

BLSA researchers at the National Institute on Aging at NIH are looking for IDEAL participants who:

  • are 80 years or older
  • live within 150 miles of Baltimore MD
  • have no major medical conditions
  • have no severe memory or cognitive issues

Eligibility to participate in IDEAL is determined by:

  • A 15 minute telephone screener
  • A complete physical examination and cognitive assessment conducted at Harbor Hospital in Baltimore

Study participation involves:

  • Annual 2 day visit to Harbor Hospital for a physical and cognitive assessment. Transportation may be provided. Participants may continue in IDEAL as long as they are willing and able.
  • NO experimental drugs or procedures.

View Study Brochure (PDF, 536K)

To learn more about participation in the IDEAL study: