This story is designed to help children prepare for a research study involving a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) brain scan. Throughout the story, key elements of scanning at the Alberta Children’s Hospital are explained in child-friendly terms in order to familiarize children with the scanning environment. Our lab is commited to making the MRI scanning experience positive for children.
Yes. All members of our research team have experience conducting MRI scans in with young children. During an MRI scan a child must lie still for a period of time. The research-dedicated 3T scanner at the Alberta Children's Hospital is equipped with a projector and screen, enabling children to watch movies or TV shows during scans. In addition, this scanner has a wide bore to allow parents to lie beside children during scans in order to provide emotional support and comfort.
Is MRI safe for children?
Yes. Unlike x-rays or CT scans, MRI does not involve ionizing radiation. MRI uses a magnetic field and radio waves to produce images of internal bodily structures, like the brain. There are no known risks associated with exposure to this magnetic field. During an MRI scan, a person is placed within a magnet bore, which generates a magnetic field, and radio waves are emitted and received by radio frequency coils. These signals produce digital images. For more information, click one the links below.
Can the MRI images be used for clinical or diagnostic purposes?
No. These images are only intended for research purposes. The members of the research team who assess and process these images have not been trained to look for diseases or abnormalities. However, in the unlikely event that something unusal was detected, the images would be passed on to a qualified physician, who would follow up with the family if necessary.
Does my child have to participate?
No. Participation in this study is voluntary and you may withdraw your child from the study at any time without jeopardizing their health care or involvement in the APrON study. If you decide to withdraw from the study, please notify Dr. Catherine Lebel.
Will my child's records be kept private?
Yes. Any information about your child obtained from or for this research study will be kept as confidential as possible. All records pertaining to your child's involvement in this research study will be stored in a locked file-cabinet and data will be kept in a secure computer database. Additionally, you child's name will not be on these records, as a study identification number will be used instead.