Magnetoencephalography (MEG) has been clinically applied to various neurological diseases, including epilepsy and cognitive dysfunction. In addition to filling its clinical role in epilepsy, MEG has emerged as an important investigatory tool in neurodevelopmental studies of young children irrespective of their typical or atypical development. It is therefore an opportune time to review how MEG is able to contribute to the study of atypical brain development in children. In this textbook, we introduce previous MEG studies that focus on children with epilepsy, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), language disorders and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). These neurodevelopmental disorders appear in infancy and early childhood, possibly causing delays or impairments in social interaction, communication, and cognitive function. To gain insight into the development of these dysfunctions, their pathophysiology must be studied in young children. During the past decade, using conventional or custom child-sized MEG devices, some researchers have strived to elucidate the neurophysiological mechanisms of these neurodevelopmental disorders in childhood. The relevant literature for children was accessed using PubMed on March 1, 2020. Although further studies are still necessary, the detailed findings provided by neuroimaging methods may aid clinical diagnosis and even contribute to the refinement of diagnostic categories for neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g., ASD, ADHD and language disorders) in the future.
Advances in Magnetic Resonance Technology and Applications Volume 2, 2021, Pages 355-371,