MEG imaging technology improves accessibility to children

Published: October 25 2021
Last updated: September 28 2022

New technology to make magnetoencephalography (MEG) brain imaging more accessible in children has been developed by UK scientists and Young Epilepsy.

The charity unveiled the brain scanning system for children at their Neville Childhood Epilepsy Centre in Surrey at the end of September.

MEG brain scans can look at brain activity and offer very precise information about where seizures start in the brain. However, up until now, MEG imaging has been difficult to use. It required a large and expensive machine, a specific and expensive room, and for the person being scanned to remain still.

This has made the technology difficult to access in many epilepsy centres and not suitable for use in children.

The new technology allows the MEG scanner to be worn like a helmet and for the person being scanned to move freely. The room the scan needs to take place in is also less expensive and children can bring toys and family in with them.

The improved accessibility and cost could mean a wider use of MEG imaging around things like diagnosis and surgery, and more MEG facilities could become available around the UK in the future.

Young Epilepsy says the helmet can fit the head of any child and also helps to make MEG more accessible to children with complex needs.

The technology was developed in partnership with the University of Nottingham and University College London, as well as companies Cerca Magnetics Ltd and Megnetic Shields Ltd. It is currently being used at Young Epilepsy’s research centre in Surrey.

There is more information on the Young Epilepsy website.