What is MEG?
Magnetoencephalography (MEG) maps neurological function by measuring the magnetic fields produced by the brain's natural electrical activity. It provides physicians with clear data to help locate the source of seizures and minimize operative risk in patients with epilepsy or brain lesions by clearly defining what regions of the brain are critical to speech and motor function.
What to Expect
The imaging technique is noninvasive and pain free, and patients remain conscious throughout the procedure, enabling physicians to ask them to engage in activities - reading, moving, speaking, listening or remembering - to stimulate important areas within the brain.
This allows physicians to track the sequence of activation of brain structures during normal (e.g., word comprehension) or abnormal (e.g., epileptic discharge) functions. MEG can also be used on pediatric patients.
When the condition is epilepsy, MEG pinpoints exact seizure onset locations. When surgery is planned, MEG precise brain maps help plot optimum surgical paths, minimizing damage to critical sensory, motor or language-specific cortexes.
Uses of MEG Imaging
MEG is an important new tool for use in diagnosing and treating:
First MEG in Four States
Memorial Hermann brought the first MEG to Houston in 1997. Today, our MEG remains the only one in clinical use not just in Houston, but throughout Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma.
MEG is also used to locate eloquent cortex for optimal surgical planning to minimize the risk of functional deficits in patients with brain tumors or intractable epilepsy. More than 800 patients have undergone MEG at Memorial Hermann-TMC, approximately 150 a year. Learn more about the MEG Lab.
The MEG-derived maps help neurosurgeons plan surgical treatments in a way that minimizes the risk of functional deficits. In contrast to other neuro-imaging tools, MEG has the important and unique advantage of tracking brain activity in real time with great resolution.