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Magnetoencephalography (MEG)

A magnetoencephalography (MEG) scan is one of the newest, most advanced brain-imaging techniques. The sophisticated, noninvasive procedure uses sensors to detect and record the magnetic fields around the head generated by brain activity. MEG scans are most commonly used in patients with epilepsy and brain tumors.

An MEG scan provides precise timing and spatial information on brain activity that can be paired with MRI results to create a detailed map of the origins of brain functions, including speech, movement, and vision.

UTHealth Neurosciences doctors can use MEG scans to help pinpoint the source of epileptic seizures and determine whether a patient is a candidate for surgery. MEG scans may benefit patients with other neurological issues, including patients with brain tumors and those who require brain surgery. Surgeons can determine with great precision which areas surrounding a tumor are still healthy, helping them plan procedures.

What Happens During the MEG Scan?

Your doctor will provide instructions prior to the MEG scan, which may include avoiding caffeine, hair products, and clothing with metal.

Typically, a doctor will place a patient’s head in a helmet-like device with MEG sensors during the procedure, which is conducted in a magnetically shielded room designed to block out interference. Only the patient will be in the room. The test is quiet, safe, and causes no discomfort. Patients will be asked to keep their heads still during the scan, which may take an hour or more. The entire procedure, while typically outpatient, may span several hours.

Tests and Treatments


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At UTHealth Neurosciences, we offer patients access to specialized neurological care at clinics across the greater Houston area. To ask us a question, schedule an appointment, or learn more about us, please call (713) 486-8000, or click below to send us a message. In the event of an emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest Emergency Room.


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