What’s it like to take part in research?

2. Having a MRI scan

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans are used to acquire detailed images of the brain. This is important for research into dementia as it can reveal whether parts of the brain are becoming smaller and show researchers how different diseases affect the brain. MRI scans can indicate whether people are developing different types of dementia, and reveal how people are responding to treatments.

Scans for research tend to take about 45 minutes, although this varies between different studies. The scanner makes loud noises as it acquires the images so ear-plugs or headphones are usually worn. Because the scanner uses a strong magnetic field you’ll be asked to remove any metal, and the researchers will ask whether you have any metal in your body before having the scan. Sometimes they will ask you to change into a gown or pyjamas, but other times you can wear your own clothes.