Magnetic resonance scanning uses a powerful magnet and radio waves to detect signs of Mitochondrial disease in the brain.


  • Children under 9 years of age and those with severe developmental delay may be given a sedative to help them stay still during the procedure.
  • If sedation is required, your child should have only fluids (no food) after midnight (the night before) and nothing to eat or drink for 6 hours before the procedure.
  • Tell the doctor if your child is afraid of closed spaces (called claustrophobia).


  • Your child needs to lie still, on his or her back, inside a tube-shaped chamber for 30 to 60 minutes. If your child is not sedated, you may bring a music CD for him or her to listen to, as the machine is quite noisy.
  • Your child will be able to hear and speak to the technician during the procedure through an intercom.


  • Your child can resume his or her regular activities right away.
  • If your child is sedated, you can expect to go home 1 or 2 hours after the procedure.

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