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Diagnostic Tests – MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)

An MRI scan (Magnetic resonance imaging) takes high quality pictures of the brain, spinal cord, optic nerve (the  nerve that connects the eye to the brain), and other parts of the body.  MRI is used to help with diagnosing Multiple Sclerosis. An MRI will be able to show if there are any lesions or plaques on the spinal cord and brain or if the optic nerve is inflamed. These lesions, plaques, and inflammation of the optic nerve are signs of Multiple Sclerosis.  An MRI machine uses very large magnets and radio waves to take these pictures. This machine does not use x-rays or radiation, unlike CT scans (Computerized tomography scans). Having an MRI done is painless. The patient will lie down on a table and the table will move the patient into the machine. If the patient has a pacemaker, metal implants, or any other metal on them, they are not able to have an MRI done.

Additional resources that provide more information on MRI:

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) (National Multiple Sclerosis Society)

Magnetic Resonance Imaging – Information for Patients (International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine)

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Scan Tutorial (MedlinePlus) This is a video. You have three different choices for how you want to watch this. Click on the link here. When the page opens up, you can click on “Start Interactive Tutorial” to watch the video and to answer questions. Or, click on “Start Self Playing Tutorial” to watch the video only. You can also click on “Text Summary” to open up a file. This is a handout that talks about everything that was covered in the videos