All children who are referred to the CALM centre are invited to have an MRI brain scan. The MRI brain scan is scheduled after the first visit. This is in addition to the questionnaires and assessments and is entirely optional.
What is the purpose of the scan?
As children grow, the structure of their brain changes to enable them to learn and remember. We want to find out more about how this happens, and about how the structure of the brain is linked to the patterns of learning skills that we see across children.
What is a brain scanner?
We can learn a great deal about how the brain works by looking at its structure. We are able to look at the brain using images taken with a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner. This scanner uses a magnetic field to create detailed images of brain structure.
What happens during the brain scan?
Before the scan, we will visit the mock scanner, which looks and sounds exactly like the real thing. This visit will give you and your child an idea of what the real scan might be like.
A member of staff will then ask you some questions to ensure that your child has no metal within them before they enter the strong magnet. Your child will then be asked to lie in the scanner and the scan will start. The scanning can be noisy and we shall give them ear plugs and headphones to reduce this noise. It may not be appropriate for your child to be scanned if they are very claustrophobic. The scan does not involve any injections or X-rays.
How long is the scan?
The scanning session will take around 30 minutes, but each individual scan will take around 7 minutes. If you or your child feel it is necessary, and it is safe for you to do so, you can accompany your child into the scan room.
Please click to download more information about the brain scan.