New MEG technology delivers hope for medically refractory epilepsy

Patient Care |

07/10/2024

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Specialists at Riley Children's Health now utilize MEG technology, a cutting-edge tool intended to benefit patients experiencing seizures.

From research to patient care, pediatric neurologists and neurosurgeons at Riley Children’s Health are multifaceted innovators who work diligently to pursue new therapies for children. Recently, they’ve introduced new magnetoencephalography (MEG) technology into their program, a state-of-the-art modality used to evaluate seizures in patients. This novel, non-invasive test, garnering promising presurgical evaluation, represents a significant milestone for patients experiencing medically intractable focal epilepsies.

With its ability to detect brain signals using a specialized helmet, MEG monitors both normal and abnormal brain activity while patients are at rest or engaged in specific tasks. The advanced technology, available for both adults and children, provides a whole-head view of brain activity by using sensors and advanced computing, allowing neurologists and neurosurgeons to identify the exact location of seizures. Such detailed mapping is crucial for planning complex surgical treatment and ongoing medical management.

“With on-site access to MEG, our comprehensive epilepsy program, and our level 4 Epilepsy Center, will offer a unique medical home to children with epilepsy,” Makram M. Obeid, MD said, pediatric epileptologist at Riley Children’s. “MEG complements our existing advanced technologies to better map the areas of the brain that generate seizures.”

Beyond brain mapping, MEG provides structured information and detailed functional insights through magnetic field recordings–an advantage that sets it apart from the traditional MRI and other diagnostic technologies.

“Data from MEG refines the accuracy of intracranial EEG recordings, facilitating presurgical workup,” Dr. Obeid added. “Our multidisciplinary team of experts will be able to take care of the most difficult epilepsies more efficiently.”

Located at Riley Hospital for Children, MEG is offered at only a handful healthcare facilities in the United States, according to the American Clinical MEG Society (ACMEGS), a nonprofit organization supporting MEG centers by providing education, resources and knowledge to members involved.

"The addition of MEG to our diagnostic toolkit represents a significant advancement in our ability to provide personalized and effective care for adults and children with neurological disorders,” Alison Q. Kostandy, MD said, pediatric neurologist and medical director of MEG at Riley Children’s. “By accurately mapping brain activity and identifying seizure foci, we can tailor treatment strategies and improve outcomes for our patients."

While MEG remains a transformative resource for pinpointing brain activity, the technology is a major steppingstone for patients nationwide. Ahead of MEG, specialists at Riley Children’s will continue integrating the tool, improving the overall quality of care for patients with epileptic conditions.

In addition to MEG, pediatric neurologists and neurosurgeons at Riley Children’s offer a range of surgical evaluations and treatments to manage seizures. Particularly, the Comprehensive Epilepsy Program at Riley Children’s, comprised of enhanced technologies and clinical experts, is actively involved in research to treat medically refractory epilepsy.

Explore pediatric neurology and pediatric neurosurgery at Riley Children’s.

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Makram M. Obeid, MD

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Alison Q. Kostandy, MD

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