Clinical MEG Service | Your Visit

How long is the visit?

The entire set-up and test will take approximately three hours.

How do I get my child ready?

  • Wash your child’s hair the night before the test. Do not use any oil, gel, or hairspray as that can affect the signal quality recorded with MEG.
  • Your child should take all normal medicines before the test.
  • On the day of the MEG recording, your child can eat meals but should not have any drinks or food that contain caffeine, such as soda, or chocolate.
  • Before starting the MEG recording, we can provide a change of clothes (hospital gowns) for your child if he/she is wearing metallic clothing.
  • Your child will be asked to remove, if possible, any metal objects that he/she has: glasses, jewelry, hair pins, removable dental braces, hearing aid. MEG is very sensitive to metal. Metal inside the MSR can change the results. Your child may not be able to have a scan if he/she is wearing dental braces that cannot be removed, has metal implants, a pacemaker, a stent, a shunt, and/or aneurysm clips.
  • Depending on the type of the MEG study, we may schedule a scan during your child’s natural nap time or even request to skip a nap for sleep recordings. In this case, please do not allow your child to fall asleep while commuting to the hospital.
  • If your child cannot sleep during the MEG, we will not be able to do a sleep study. In this case, we may need to schedule for another visit, if desired.

What should I bring to the MEG appointment?

It is helpful to bring something to comfort your child, such as blankets, bottles, favorite stuffed animals, or pacifiers. Please make sure there is no metal in those items, as they cannot go into the magnetically shielded room.

What should I do when I arrive at the hospital lobby?

Inside the lobby of the main building, you will see a large video screen. Once you arrive at the screen, please give us a call at 617-355-8941 and someone will come meet you.

Slideshow: Here's what a typical visit looks like

Step 1 of a child's visit to the BabyMEG Program.
Step 1: Trained MEG technicians will perform the MEG recording and explain each step to you and your child.
Step 2 of a child's visit to the BabyMEG Program.
Step 2: Sensors will be placed on the head to measure head movement.
Step 3 of a child's visit to the BabyMEG Program.
Step 3: Using a digital scanner, technicians will scan your child's head to create a three-dimensional image of the head's shape.
Step 4 of a child's visit to the BabyMEG Program.
Step 4: Electrodes with skin-friendly tape will be placed around the eyes to measure eye movements and on the stomach to measure heart beats.
Step 5 of a child's visit to the BabyMEG Program.
Step 5: In some studies, an electroencephalography (EEG) cap with washable gel will be placed on your child's head.
The MEG system is kept inside a magnetically shield room (MSR). This is what the door to the room looks like.
Step 6: The MEG system is kept inside a magnetically shield room (MSR). This is what the door to the room looks like.
The MSR door is open before the recording starts, but it will be shut during the actual recording.
Step 7: The MSR door is open before the recording starts, but it will be shut during the actual recording.
Once your child is ready, you will be directed into the magnetically shielded room (MSR) where the MEG system is.
Step 8: Once your child is ready, you will be directed into the magnetically shielded room where the MEG system is.
This is what the MEG system looks like.
Step 9: This is what the MEG system looks like.
Step 6 of a child's visit to the BabyMEG Program.
Step 10: The technicians will position your child on the bed of the BabyMEG scanner and stay with him/her in the room. You may also remain with your child in the magnetically shielded room. Alternatively, you may observe the recording via a TV system.
Step 7 of a child's visit to the BabyMEG Program.
Step 11: Another technician will perform the recording from outside of the MSR where he/she can see and talk, via intercom system, with the people inside the MSR during the scan.
Step 8 of a child's visit to the BabyMEG Program.
Step 12: A researcher will be inside the MEG room together with your child during the recording.
You will be able to see your child from a TV screen on the wall as the lab members are collecting data.
Step 13: You will be able to see your child from a TV screen on the wall as the lab members are collecting data.