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An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan is an imaging technique that uses a powerful magnet to take pictures of internal organs. An MRI scan is a safe way for doctors and scientists to learn about the body and how it works.

The Center for Neurodevelopmental and Imaging Research (CNIR) uses MRI scan to gather information on how the brain is structured and how it communicates with itself and the body. Research participants who join a research study with an MRI scan will have an opportunity to see the MRI room before their scan. Our research team will also guide each participant through a practice MRI session to allow research participants the opportunity to ask questions, feel and hear the machine, and practice games using our MR-safe screen and buttons. During the actual MRI scan, our research team will guide participants through the session.

Most of our MRI scans are one hour long. To ensure participants are comfortable, our MR bed and headrest are heavily cushioned, participants are provided with ear plugs and/or noise-cancelling headphones, and can pick out a movie from our DVD library to watch in the scanner.

Some important rules to know about MRI scans: participants with braces, metal implants, or permanent metal piercings may not be able to complete an MRI scan, participants will need to remove any metal, such as jewelry, hairpins, and piercings. If your child has braces, implants, or metal devices that cannot be removed, please notify our staff.

If you have additional questions about the MRI scanning portion of our research, please contact CNIR@KennedyKrieger.org.