How does the MRI work?

The MRI is safe and non-invasive. This means that no needles are used and no chemicals or radiation (as is the case with X-rays) are used to create images. Instead it uses a powerful magnet and radio frequencies to create images of tissue in your body. Your child will be gently placed into a device known as an MRI scanner, which is a long tube surrounded by the magnet. The scanner sends and receives signals from the cells in your child’s body. A computer interprets the signals into a set of images that you can see on a computer monitor and then stores the images in the computer. The most important factor in getting a good picture is for your child to remain still. Just like when a photograph is taken, any movement can cause the image to be blurry. One way to make sure that your child remains still is to get the image while your child is asleep.

I am not sure if my child will be able to sleep through the MRI scan. What is your general approach for the sleep MRI?

Our team has experience scanning young children while they sleep. We will be working closely with you to develop a plan that will work best for you and your child. We will ask you to keep your child awake and active during the day so that he/she is sleepy during the scanning session. One idea is to try to have your child fall asleep in the car on the way to the Imaging Research Center. If this does not work, we will have a bed set up in the scanner room so that you can go through a nighttime routine upon arrival until your child falls asleep.

Where do we go for the visits?

The behavioral and medical visits will take place at the main UC Davis MIND Institute building located at 2825 50th Street in Sacramento. Map and directions. »

The MRI visit will take place in a different building, called the Imaging Research Center (IRC), which is a few blocks away from the main UC Davis MIND Institute building. The address to the IRC is 4701 X Street in Sacramento. Map and directions. »

Are there costs associated with participating in the study?

There is no cost to you for participating in our study. The study will pay for all costs associated with this research.