What to Expect

COVID-19 Procedures

We have special procedures in place because of the need to keep participants and researchers safe during the pandemic.

Here are a few of the things we are doing to keep participants and researchers safe:

  • We will screen you a week prior to your appointment as well as on the day of, before you enter the Alberta Children’s Hospital.
  • You will be asked to come at your allotted study time (not before) to reduce your time in the healthcare facility.
  • We will also ask that while at the Alberta Children’s Hospital you wear a mask, which will be provided to you. 
  • Risks associated with visitt include increased time in a health care facility and exposure to health care staff, as well as potential risks of transportation to the hospital (e.g., public transit or taxi). Measures undertaken to reduce this risk include all researchers and staff completing “fit to work” screening before each shift and wearing PPE during all interactions with participants.
  • We also have a separate waiting area to the clinical patients to limit contact.
MRI ACH CAIR Research Ucalgary

What is the MRI Machine Like?

The MRI machine looks like a giant tube and is open on both ends.

You will be asked to lie down on a table that slides into the opening of the tube. The MRI creates a powerful magnetic field around you, and radio waves are directed at your body. Because of the powerful magnetic field, you will be asked to remove all metal from your clothing and hair. The procedure is painless, and you don’t feel the magnetic field or the radio waves.

Video of What to Expect

MRI ACH CAIR Research Ucalgary

What to Expect During the MRI

During the MRI, the magnet makes repetitive tapping sounds like a rocket ship. You will be given earphones to listen to music or a movie.

Read more about Pluto the astronaut

MRI ACH CAIR Research Ucalgary

What Will You be Doing?

You will see pictures, a movie, or a task that the researchers ask you to do. During the functional part of the MRI, you may be asked to perform small tasks such as tapping your fingers or speaking out loud. This helps the researchers pinpoint the part of your brain that controls these actions. The special earphones you will be wearing allow you to hear the voice of the MRI technologist, as well as hear your movie or music.

MRI ACH CAIR Research Ucalgary

What Will We be Doing?

The technologist will monitor you and talk to you during the scan by microphone. They will be able to hear you as well. You will also be given a special emergency squeeze button; this can be used if you feel like you absolutely cannot continue with the scan.

Research EEG

Some of our studies use an EEG (electroencephalogram) as part of their research.

An EEG tracks the electrical activity of your brain (brain waves). During an EEG, we use an EEG cap that has tiny electrodes that pick up the electrical activity produced by the brain. The electrodes only record activity, they do not produce any sensation. An EEG test is considered a safe, noninvasive procedure, and should not cause discomfort. 

Check out the video below to see how we use an EEG for research. We have also included an informational document to address common questions.