Clinical MEG Service

We are the Clinical MEG Service under the Fetal-Neonatal Neuroimaging & Developmental Science Center (FNNDSC), directed by P. Ellen Grant, MD, Division of Newborn Medicine, at Boston Children’s Hospital. The pediatric MEG system is at the forefront of MEG technologies and was one of the first systems designed specifically for children approximately 0 to 4 years of age. The facility itself is ideally located across from the NICU to provide ease of access for patients, while bringing together researchers and clinicians to promote an integrated approach to developing technologies and caring for patients.

MEG testing for epilepsy

Our team works very closely with the Epilepsy Center at Boston Children’s Hospital, directed by Dr. Phillip Pearl. Physicians in our MEG facility see patients with seizure disorders as part of their presurgical evaluation. Our analyses aim to localize the brain areas that are responsible for epileptogenic activity.

The analysis for a typical MEG scan involves multiple steps and can take some time depending on the data collected.

  • First, the data is preprocessed and cleaned for easy analysis.
  • The data is then reviewed and marked by a trained member of the Clinical MEG Team.
  • The markings are then reviewed by the neurologist.
  • If clinically relevant data is identified, it is then put through the localization algorithm to identify the specific area of the brain creating the epileptogenic activity.
  • After localization, the findings are then reviewed by both a radiologist and neurologist.
  • Findings are reported within a Clinical MEG Report which is uploaded to the patient’s medical chart.

About the Clinical MEG Facility

The Clinical MEG Facility is located on the seventh floor of the James Mandell Building at Boston Children’s Hospital.

We collaborated with Boston Children's Hospital's Child Life specialists to design our facility to be a child-friendly and soothing environment. While getting ready for the recordings, infants are provided with age-appropriate toys, listen to music, or watch DVDs.

The new whole-head MEG system was built with support from the National Science Foundation. This system is developed by the same inventor, Yoshio Okada, PhD, as that of the first BabySQUID (MEG) system.

Nearly $4 million was invested in this project to design and build a one-of-a-kind MEG system that is used specifically for infants and young children.

Our facility is also equipped with a 128-channel electroencephalography (EEG) system, which can record brain activity at the same time as the MEG system. The combined information of the two techniques offers an excellent assessment of children’s brain activity.

The Clinical MEG Facility also has numerous collaborations with other research institutes, hospitals, and universities, including the Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Brown University, to name a few.