"Our results show that the MEG technology can be usefully applied in psychiatric patients," they have written.
"My bet is that this will become an important technology," said Christopher Gallen of the Scripps Clinic. "These images may become as important to psychiatry and neurology as are X-ray images to internal medicine."
Charting Normal Brain Functions
In an attempt to understand the workings of the hand-activity area of a normal brain, doctors placed electrodes for three mapping procedures: MEG, or magnetoencephalography, which charts magnetic fields, EEG--electroencephalogram, which charts electrical energy and ECoG, electrocorticogram, which maps the brain's direct electrical current from electrodes placed on the brain itself. In MEG and EEG, electrodes are placed on the scalp. Brain functions are so quick that each snapshot records activity for 500 microseconds--about 1/20th of a blink of an eye.
Charting an Epileptic Seizure
Doctors used a combination of MEG and EEG mapping techniques to diagnose the source of frontal lobe seizures. The series of snapshots, which lasted 4 microseconds each, pinpointed the patient's problem area. Subsequent surgery and treatment lessened the frequency of seizures.
\o7 Source: William W. Sutherling, Daniel Barth, Annals of Neurology (1987) and Neurology (1988) \f7