Before Leaving the House
One of the most important things to do before your MRI scan is to dress appropriately. The MRI machine is magnetic, so metal things will stick to it. To avoid this, you need to remove anything metal like jewelry and hair clips. Make sure you don't wear clothes that have buckles. Even make-up can contain some metal, so it's best to not wear any make-up too. Braces are not allowed in the MRI, so if you have braces or a metal retainer that cannot be removed, you must tell the researcher so they can cancel your appointment. Even regular glasses cannot be taken in the MRI, so either wear contacts or let the researcher know the prescription ahead of time so they can prepare MRI-safe glasses. A good way to check for metal is to do a head-to-toe check. Start with your head and think of any metal you may have and move down to check arms, legs and pockets. You will not wear shoes in the MRI, so don't worry about those. You may also be asked to change into scrubs when you arrive.
Arriving at Lucas MRI Center
Once you park and arrive at Lucas, a researcher will meet you outside at the front door since the doors are locked. You will be guided to the lobby to fill out the MRI Safety Form for yourself or your child. The form is used to make sure you/your child does not have any metal located on or inside their body (jewelry, medical devices, etc). Once the form is filled out and we confirm there is no metal, we will take the participant to the MRI room and prepare them for the scan.
During MRI Scan
Before the scan, we may ask you to change your clothes and put on scrubs. For some studies, you can choose a video to watch on Youtube or Netflix. Then, we will take you into the main room and place earplugs into your ears. This is because the scanner makes loud sounds and we don't want it to be too loud for you. We will ask you to lay down on the MRI bed as we place the brain camera over your head. We may place blankets on you if you are feeling cold. The researchers will leave the main room and go into the control room so we can see your brain on the computer. We can still see and hear you from this room since there is a glass window. We will then move the bed into the scanner so you can see the video better. Then we will start the scans. Sometimes the bed will shake, but that's normal. Scans last between 15minutes to 1 hour depending on the study, so ask the researcher how long you will need to be there. Remember, during the scan it is really important to stay still so we can get a clear brain picture. After the scan, you will be able to put your clothes back on. We will give you a picture of your brain to take home with you!