A: An MRI scan is a powerful diagnostic tool that uses a strong magnetic field to produce high-quality, images in multiple planes or directions. The images are generated using superconducting magnets and pulsed radio waves. MRI has been in use since the early 1980s and has no known side-effects. It has become the investigation of choice for many neurological and musculoskeletal conditions and is used in all areas of the body. MRI scanning of the brain provides very important information that helps doctors diagnose the underlying cause of memory complaints.