Disclaimer: Scans performed for research studies are done for research purposes only. No clinically relevant information on any personal health issues will be obtained during research scans. For more information on current research studies, see BIRC Research Studies.

Before the Scan

Your research coordinator will schedule your scan at a time that is convenient for you. Please wear comfortable clothes to your scan appointment and avoid wearing clothing with metallic parts or embellishments. You will need to remove any metal-containing objects prior to entering the scanner environment (i.e.- jewelry, belts, wallets, etc.). We have a secure storage area for your personal belongings during the scan.

You will be allowed to practice scan-related tasks either in the MRI Simulator or the Console Room prior to starting the scan. We will also screen you using our Safety Screening Form and SafeScan© Metal Detector to make sure you are safe to be scanned.

During the Scan

You will lie on a padded table, like a bed, that will move you into and out of the scanner. Your body will only be in the machine as far as your waist. The scanner will take a series of “pictures” that we use to learn about your brain activity. While the machine is taking “pictures”, it will “click” and make a sound like a high pitched jackhammer. You will wear earplugs and headphones to block the noise and allow you to communicate with the MRI Operator.

You must remain as still as possible while the machine is running. To make it easier to stay still, we will break the scan in sections of ~7 minutes each. In between each section, you will be allowed a short break to reposition before starting the next section. We will also check on you periodically to make sure you are comfortable.

You will be given a call button prior to the start of the scan that you can use to signal to the MRI Operator if you become anxious or claustrophobic. You are required to have the call button with you at all times during the scan. If you begin to feel anxious or claustrophobic during your scan, you can be removed at any time.

After the Scan

Following the completion of your scan, you will be removed from the scanner and escorted safely out of the room. Copies of anatomical images can be given upon request; however, no clinical readout will be performed. If any structural abnormalities are noted on your research MRI, a referral will be made to a diagnostic imaging service at which time, you would be held responsible for any further medical care beyond your participation in the study. Please note: this happens very infrequently (~1 out of every 300 subjects). If you have any questions or concerns about safety in the scanner, please contact your study coordinator or our MRI Coordinator (smsmitherman@uams.edu or 526-8386).