Medical Center Receives Approval for New Diagnostic Tool

January 20, 2005

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – The Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center has received state approval to become one of only 18 clinical sites in the country, and the only site in North Carolina or surrounding states, to utilize magnetoencephalography (MEG) – an innovative diagnostic tool that non-invasively measures minute magnetic brain activity and provides information about the location of normal and abnormal brain functions.

“This new technology provides valuable information for treatment planning and should open new avenues for treating epilepsy and other brain disorders,” said E. Steve Roach, M.D., director of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center. “Having MEG technology keeps us among the top neuroscience centers in the country and represents a totally new approach for both patient diagnosis and research efforts.”

MEG measures small magnetic fields generated by the brain’s neurons. By identifying the precise locations within the brain that are responsible for the senses, language, motor function and other vital processes, doctors can ensure preservation of these functions by avoiding these areas during surgery. MEG also helps the physicians locate the site within the brain where epileptic seizures begin, making curative surgery possible in individuals with epilepsy who have not responded to medication.

The MEG system will complement existing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET), single photon emission tomography (SPECT) and Gamma Knife radiosurgery capabilities at Wake Forest Baptist.

Installation of the MEG unit, which was purchased from VSM MedTech Ltd. in Vancouver, British Columbia, will be completed by December 2005.


Media Contacts: Jonnie Rohrer,; Shannon Koontz,, or Karen Richardson,, at 336-716-4587.

About Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center: Wake Forest Baptist is an academic health system comprised of North Carolina Baptist Hospital and Wake Forest University School of Medicine. It is licensed to operate 1,282 acute care, psychiatric, rehabilitation and long-term care beds and is consistently ranked as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” by U.S. News & World Report.

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