My first evaluation today was not until 1 p.m., so I had some time to spare. I spent the morning reading and had lunch at a delightful and delicious Iranian restaurant. When it was time for the evaluation, I took the shuttle to the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research.
When I arrived at the center (only a few minutes from the hotel) I was greeted by Diane. She has been my contact throughout this process. After she completed a brief questionnaire and motor evaluation, we went over the MRI basics. Then I changed into scrubs and we went to the MRI room (the lab has several on site).
For the MRI, they slid my entire body in. My head rested in a “helmet” (a padded square), and they lowered a shield over my face. The scan took about an hour. When it was finished, I returned to the hotel for a nap and went to dinner. I ate at a near little place called the Loring Pasta Bar.
A few fun facts I learned today…
-Dr. Henry Orr, who is currently at the University of Minnesota “discovered” SCA1 in 1993.
-SCA, in its various forms, is more common than ALS.
-The MRI machine is a 110 ton magnet with 720 miles of wire.
-The heating element in the MRI machine requires 40,000 liters of helium to keep it cool.