MRI Frequently Asked Questions
What does MRI stand for?
MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. The procedure uses magnetic fields to create high-resolution brain images.
Are there any harmful effects or risks associated with MRIs?
MRI procedures are entirely safe, comfortable, and non-invasive. MRI scanners do not produce harmful radiation, do not cause negative side-effects, and do not require any sort of injection or topical treatments.
What will my child do in the MRI? How long will it take?
Your child will spend approximately 45 minutes in the actual MRI scanner during natural sleep (meaning that no sedatives of any kind are administered). Our scans take place at night, and we work with families to ensure a normal bedtime routine on the night of the scan. We collect images while children are exposed to songs that they have previously heard during visits to our lab. This helps us to better understand the development of memory processes, which is very exciting!
How can I be sure my child will be comfortable in the MRI?
We use a rigorous screening process to ensure that children who participate in our studies meet the study criteria. For MRI studies using a sleep paradigm, this means that we only work with children who are able to sleep deeply enough that they are not likely to wake up during scanning. We also do our best to make the scanner and surroundings as friendly as possible by creating a nursery/bedroom feel, complete with stuffed animals and blankets. Parents who meet the safety standards established by the IRC are encouraged to accompany their children into the room where our scans take place.