Comprehensive Epilepsy Center

Magnetoencephalography (MEG) Study

A magnetoencephalography (MEG) study is a non-invasive test used to localize seizures and abnormal activity within the brain using magnetic sensors. MEG can also be used to identify functional areas of the brain such as motor, sensory and language. This test is useful in the treatment and care of patients with epilepsy by helping to define where seizures in the brain are coming from and may help determine candidacy for epilepsy surgery.

The MEG scan “listens” to the brain to detect small, magnetic signals. Those signals are logged and used to create a map of the brain to locate the origin of seizure activity. MEG scans do not use radiation or release magnetic waves.

Before a MEG scan

First, a technician will place electrodes on your child’s head similar to an EEG. Next, the technician will use a “magic wand” to measure your head and the distance between the electrodes.

During a MEG scan

After the electrodes are in position, your child will lay flat on an examination table, and the MEG helmet will be placed around their head. Your child will be asked to remain still and soft cushions will be situated between the helmet and your child’s head to prevent it from moving during the scan.

The test lasts approximately 2 hours and takes place in a shielded room with a video and intercom system so the technicians can see and communicate with your child throughout the exam.

After a MEG scan

After a MEG scan, a clinician will remove the electrodes from your child’s head. A MEG scan is painless, and there are no side effects. Your child may resume normal activity and diet immediately following the test.