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Hi Jess.
The VEP Test, is a visual evoked potential test. Ive had many. They are totally NOT painful however, I would think that taking a valium or something to relax you prior to the MRI might interfere with reaction times. You watch a screen, like a TV screen, with types of electrodes hooked up to your body. Sometimes it is done twice, once with each eye covered. What the test does, is monitor how fast the images in front of you are registered by your brain; thus measuring the optic nerve conductivity. IT doesnt hurt at all, and only takes 20 minutes, even if they do both eyes.

Now, have you had an MRI before? For some people, it is a claustrophic feeling. There is absolutely NO pain involved in an MRI, however it can be disconcerting, if you arent used to the idea. If you have ever had a CT scan, its much the same as that, only your head will be in the tunnel...I havent had any bad things happen to me in the past 3 MRIs (my only 3 MRIs) but ive heard stories of people getting freaked out by the machine. YOu do wear headphones, which they put music on for you, and when the tech talks, you hear it thru the headphones....they will usually say something like "this series will last 3 minutes"..and then you hear the music.....while the test is being prefromed you hear clinking noises...picture tiny elves with little hammers, hammering at something with a metallic sound to it! Silly, but as close to a description as I can give you.
THe contrast is given in your arm usually, and takes 10 seconds to administer..it doesnt hurt, or burn...you wont know its there...and its simply to help them see the legions or problems in the area they are taking pics of.

i hope this helps....and to get back to your original question; you really should talk to your doctor about whether or not taking something pre-MRI MIGHT affect the VEP. My guess is that it might.
I have had both tests on the same day, but having known what to expect before hand, I had absolutely no problem having them both done without any anxiety meds...good luck to you.
Nikki





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