Is MRI imaging appropriate for population research studies?

I am considering to take part in the design of an MRI population research study. The study is supposed to investigate brain diseases and will be based upon MRI brain imaging of thousands of individuals.

Although an MRI scan does not use ionizing radiation and is generally considered safe I still have some ethical concerns. From articles I read I understood that currently the scientists are not sure for the potential biological effects. There are some indications however* and I also read online some people’s complaints (i.e. vertigo). In the feature of course, knowledge about side effects might change in light of more evidence.

I agree that MRI imaging is a useful medical tool and should be applied when necessary to patients. However I do not feel fully agreed if it would be wise to use it for a population study where not all individuals are patients. Maybe I am wrong. Of course there is a cost – benefit trade off but does it worth it? Do you find my considerations are worth and valid or do you think I should not worry about that? Can you say something that can help me about this?

Thank you

Asked Mar 17, 2014

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