A Conversation with: Sylvain Baillet, PhD
Medical College of Wisconsin Neuro-imaging Physicist and Scientific Director, Magnetoencephalography ProgramDr. Sylvain Baillet, PhD is no longer with Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin
Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin recently became the first healthcare organization in the state to use magnetoencephalography (MEG) imaging in patient care. Sylvain Baillet, PhD, explains how this non-invasive technology can help patients with brain cancer.
Q. How does the MEG scanner work?
Every time your brain is active – which is all the time – the neurons produce an electrical current. Whenever it flows through a medium, a magnetic field is produced. In the brain, it is a weak field, 10 billion times weaker than the earth’s magnetic field. The MEG uses sensitive superconductive materials to detect magnetic fields produced by brain activity.
Q. How can that help brain tumor patients?
Imagine a patient has a tumor close to an area that controls language. During the scan, the patient reads or speaks a series of words. The MEG helps us locate brain areas that respond. That information tells the surgeon which areas to avoid. All primary senses can be tested (sight, hearing, etc.) plus motor skills and even memory. MEG is also an important tool in surgical planning for severe epilepsy cases, and we are researching ways to use the technology for other clinical applications in the future.
To learn more, visit froedtert.com/meg.
The MEG scanner was purchased through the generous gift of an anonymous donor. To find out how your financial support can help with similar advances in health care, visit froedterthospitalfoundation.org.
Source: Froedtert Today
Date: December 2008
Last Review Date: July 29, 2011
Online Editor(s): Kathryn Adam