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"What is the MEG scan and how can it help epileptics?"

ZocdocAnswersWhat is the MEG scan and how can it help epileptics?


I have a very dear friend who is epileptic that I'd like to help in whatever way possible. Recently I heard something about a MEG scan that could be very useful for people with epilepsy. Is this true? What is it?


MEG stands for magnetoencephalogram. The process that is used to obtain these studies is similar to the process used by MRI machines. Large magnets are used to create very small magnetic fields within the brain which are picked up by coils in the machine and processed with computers. The exact mechanism that is used for the MEG scan is beyond the scope of this discussion, but the importance of the MEG scan is that it can help locate possible seizure focii (areas of the brain in which the seizure begins). This information can be matched with the MRI scan to create a map of the brain which shows normal and abnormal activity in the brain. If your friend has failed medical therapy for his or her seizures, there is a possibility that surgery may be an option. This is where the MEG scan and MRI may come in handy. If after the evaluation, it is deemed that there is a lesion on the MRI that appears to be the seizure focus on the MEG, and the lesion is surgically amenable, then surgery may be an option. It is recommended that your friend be evaluated by his or her neurologist for further workup of these seizures. Their neurologist will be able to assess your friend's medical history and presenting symptoms and decide upon the appropriate workup, as well as possible treatment options if these are available.

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