Article BLSA Synthetic Data

What is it and what does it include?

This dataset represents SYNTHETIC data generated off of the real data collected by The National Institute on Aging’s Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA). It is useful for getting familiar with the BLSA data and determining whether the study houses measures of interest for your research and helping to preparing an analysis proposal; results analyses are NOT publishable in any form since the data is not real. Visit the related BLSA OPEN Data project on the AD Workbench to find related real BLSA data designated as publicly available.

How can I use this dataset to advance my research?

This dataset is ideal if:

  • you’re interested in studying longitudinal physical and cognitive changes that define aging.
  • you’re interested in identifying genetic, physical, behavioral, and environmental factors that affect the rate of change in these traits.
  • you’re looking to understand the interrelationship between aging and chronic disease and other conditions, and their independent and joint impact on age-related decline.


Has this dataset helped researchers understand Alzheimer’s and other dementias better?

Of course!

  • AD & Personality:

In 2021, researchers aimed to examine whether personality traits are associated with amyloid and tau neuropathology in a new sample and meta-analyses. Their research showed that among cognitively normal BLSA participants, neuroticism was associated with higher cortical amyloid burden, and conscientiousness was associated with lower cortical amyloid burden. These associations remained significant after accounting for age, sex, education, depressive symptoms, hippocampal volume, and APOE ε4. By aggregating results across samples, this study advances knowledge on the association between personality and neuropathology. Neuroticism and conscientiousness may contribute to resistance against amyloid and tau neuropathology. September 2021  – DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2021.08.021

  • AD & mitochondrial energetics:

In 2022, researchers aimed to study whether mitochondrial dysfunction predicts subsequent mobility decline. After examining 380 cognitively normal participants aged 60 and older who were well-functioning and free of Parkinson's disease and stroke at baseline, they found that among initially well-functioning older adults, worse muscle mitochondrial function predicts mobility decline, and part of this longitudinal association is explained by decline in muscle strength and mass. Their findings suggest that worse mitochondrial function contributes to mobility decline with aging. These findings need to be verified in studies correlating longitudinal changes in mitochondrial function, muscle, and mobility performance. January 2022 – DOI: 10.1111/acel.13552

Manuscripts citing this dataset

  • The BLSA has generated hundreds of scientific papers and made major contributions to our understanding of aging and the aging process. On this page, you can explore BLSA publications from 1982 to the present: publications.

Request access

Data access can be requested via AD Workbench FAIR portal here. Access requests are automatically approved upon which the dataset will be ready to be manually transferred into your workspace inbox

Data Use Agreement

Please refer to the BLSA Data Sharing Schedules, Processes and Required Agreements here.

Publishing results using this dataset?

The dataset owner has specified no requirements when publishing results using this dataset.


Post a question or thought about this dataset here.