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Tips to Optimize Your MRI Experience for Multiple Sclerosis

Posted Dec 29 2010 12:00am

MRIs for Multiple Sclerosis:
MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging scans) are a necessary part of diagnosing and monitoring your multiple sclerosis (MS). Researchers and doctors consider them to be one of the biggest breakthroughs in the MS field, as they give a chance to “look inside the brain” in a way that was never possible before. However, the procedure itself can be an unusual and even scary experience for someone who has never had an MRI.

Anticipating and understanding what to expect during an MRI will help you through the scan. The following tips are provided to help make your MRI experience as stress-free as possible.

At Your Doctor’s Office:
Ask your doctor what he will want to see on the MRI: the brain, all or part of the spinal cord, or the entire central nervous system (from top of the head to tailbone). If your doctor wants a scan of the whole thing (which is likely if this is your first MRI or if an exacerbation is suspected), you may be asked if you prefer one or two sessions. Here are some things to consider when deciding:

Doing the whole thing at one time may take up to two hours.

If you split it up, the sessions will be shorter each time, but you will have to go to two appointments and will have to receive gadolinium (contrast material) each time.

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