Functional MRI research involving healthy children: Ethics, safety and recommended procedures

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Aim: This specific review aims to expose clinicians, researchers and administrators in hospitals to the importance, procedures and safety of fMRI studies to promote the increased utilisation of such studies in different geographical places worldwide. The child's brain is developing rapidly, both structurally and functionally. These functional changes can only be detected using functional scans generated from an MRI machine and referred to as a functional MRI (fMRI). This method may be used clinically in complex medical and surgical conditions (e.g., epilepsy surgery), but these days are often used for research purposes. However, due to ethical and logistical considerations, fMRI in the paediatric population is not widely and equally used in different geographical places. Conclusions: The benefits of using this method to define the functional changes occurring in the developing brain are discussed in this review, along with desensitisation methods recommended when working with this vulnerable population in research and even in a clinical setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)741-749
Number of pages9
JournalActa Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2022


  • functional MRI
  • longitudinal
  • neuroethics
  • paediatrics
  • practical guidelines

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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