6 Tips for Making Your Next MRI More Comfortable
- by Teva's Lift MS® Team
- February 12, 2018
From diagnosis to continued disease management, MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging) play an important role for those living with multiple sclerosis. Understanding the different ways neurologists could use MRIs may help you prepare for your next appointment.
MRIs are commonly used by neurologists to diagnose MS, as they create pictures of the brain. This helps neurologists detect damage caused when confused T cells attack the myelin surrounding nerve tissue. Since myelin is a fatty substance, it repels water. Once the myelin is stripped away, the area is able to hold more water. This water-filled area shows up in an MRI scan as either a bright white spot or a darkened area, depending on the type of MRI used.
Once diagnosed with MS, MRIs may be used to track the progression of MS. Neurologists might compare past and current MRIs, as well as look at other factors, to determine if the current treatment plan is effective. Most neurologists recommend a yearly MRI so they can evaluate the disease. You can prepare yourself for MRI appointments by bringing a list of questions you may have about the process to discuss with your neurologist.
Now that you know how MRIs may be used in MS, let’s talk about a few tips that may help make you feel more at ease during your MRI.
- Eat and drink. MRI appointments could take an hour or longer. Eat a healthy meal and drink water so you don’t grow hungry during the process. You might also consider bringing a snack just in case!
- Dress comfortably. These appointments can take a while. Wear an outfit that allows you to be as comfortable as possible.
- Bring headphones. MRIs can be noisy. Drown out the sound by listening to your favorite songs or guided meditation.
- Take a blanket. Stay cozy and comfortable throughout the process. Bring your favorite blanket or ask for one when you arrive.
- Bring support. Having support nearby can help put your mind at ease. Ask someone to come with you if you’re feeling nervous or anxious.
- Breathe deeply. To reduce stress that could be brought on by an MRI, try your best to relax by using mindful breathing techniques.
We hope you find these tips helpful. Let us know your go-to MRI tip in the comments below.
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COPAXONE® (glatiramer acetate injection) is a prescription medicine that is used to treat relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS), to include clinically isolated syndrome, relapsing-remitting disease, and active secondary progressive disease, in adults.
Do not use COPAXONE® if you are allergic to glatiramer acetate or mannitol.