Brain Imaging for Youth with Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Behaviours of Concern


Neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) impact a person's developing brain. NDDs are conditions like intellectual disability and autism. Children with NDDs often have behaviours of concern such as hurting themselves or others. These behaviours are hard to understand and treat. Brain imaging such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can help us understand the brain. Taking brain images from these children can help us understand more about these behaviours. As brain imaging needs children to lie still for minutes in a small space, it is very hard to do this for children with NDDs who have behaviours of concern. As a result, little is known about the developing brain in these patients. Our research team is developing a protocol for imaging children with NDDs who have behaviours of concern without sedation. We will use it in a pilot study to look at their brains for differences that might help us understand and treat these behaviours.


Currently recruiting participants: Yes

Eligible gender: Male, Female, Transgender, Other

Eligible ages: 3 to 18

Inclusion criteria:

1. Children aged 3-18 with a confirmed neurodevelopmental disorder and behaviours of concern (defined as behaviours that impact the wellbeing and safety of the youth and those around them such as self-injury and aggression).
2. Able to tolerate wearing earplugs or headphones for at least ~10 minutes during an MRI scan.

Exclusion criteria:

1. Braces, or other mental implants that are contraindicated for MRI.


Fill out the following form if you want to participate in this research

Method of contact

Additional information

Contact information

Myka Estes at 825-454-8412;

Principal investigator:

Sarah MacEachern

Clinical trial: