Clinical Neurosciences Center

Magnetic Source Imaging - FAQs

Why have a MSI scan?

The MEG lab operates a clinical facility designed to enhance the care of patients with epilepsy and certain brain tumors/lesions by utilizing state-of-the-art non-invasive diagnostic neuroimaging technologies by creating a virtual 3D map of the brain's activity. With a detailed medical profile, a history highlighting etiological factors, a neurological exam and other diagnostic imaging recordings, our physicians are better able to determine the best therapy and/or treatment options.

Are there any related health risks?

There are no known risks associated with MEG. Unlike MRI, this procedure does not subject the patient to a magnetic field. MEG procedures can be performed safely with a pacemaker or metallic implant, although these may limit the accuracy or feasability of the procedure. 

How long does the scan take?

Our evaluations typically last from 3.5 to 5 hours depending on the number and nature of the scans performed. Additional brain mapping–such as for somatosensory, visual, or auditory–will add to scan time. Most of these scans can be performed on the same day's visit. In some cases, for Language Mapping, it may be necessary to come in on a separate day to perform that scan. Sometimes a PET Scan or MRI may be scheduled after the MEG scan, which will add to your total visit time.

How to prepare for the scan?

  • Follow any pre-procedure instructions provided to you, to include any medication changes or sleep deprivation that might have been recommended. It is important to confirm these with your referring/prescribing physician before the scan.
  • Continue to take all non-seizure medications as prescribed by your doctor. Only stop taking any medications unless you have been instructed to do so.
  • If you use corrective lenses for vision (glasses or contacts) and you are scheduled for a Visual Mapping scan, you will not be able to use your glasses if they contain ANY metal–you should bring your contacts and plan to use those.
  • Bring any skipped and/or emergency seizure medications with you to the lab.

What should I bring to my appointment?

  • Insurance card(s) and approval information, if applicable.
  • Co-payments will not be collected at the time of the scan unless you are pre-paying in advance.
  • Sweater or light jacket (all cotton) in case you become cold.

Should someone accompany me to my appointment?

You may need to have a spouse, adult child, friend, relative, or caregiver accompany you to your appointment. In cases involving children or motor problems, the person accompanying the patient is responsible for maintaining the patient's safety by administering any medications, assisting with mobility in and out of the lab, and taking the patient to the restroom unless a Patient Escort has been requested. The MEG Lab staff are not trained to handle medical and self-care tasks for patients. If someone is not available to assist the patient requiring such care on the day of an appointment, please contact us so alternate arrangements can be made.

When will I know the results?

After your appointment, the results of your tests will be analyzed, interpreted, and compiled in a comprehensive report by our neurologist(s). This is a time-consuming process which generally takes two weeks before completion. It is not possible to have your report ready the same day as your appointment. When your report is completed, it will be forwarded to your referring physician, where you will then receive the results of the evaluation.

Contact Us:

(801) 581-5706