In summary, the technique of VBM if implemented correctly is an incredibly powerful and useful tool in the study of neurological disease. It can increase understanding of disease processes, which can be useful both from a scientific point of view and also by providing anatomical information that can be helpful for differential diagnosis of disease. Similar voxel-level statistical techniques can also be applied to other imaging modalities, such as functional MRI and positron emission tomography. It should be stressed, however, that because of the statistical nature of the technique, the power of VBM lies in group analyses. Although it has been applied to single subjects, it has not been optimized or validated for such use. Hence it can provide very important information about regions of atrophy across groups but cannot provide reliable information for single-subject diagnosis. Nevertheless, it is likely to be an important biomarker in future drug trials to assess treatment effects at the group level.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Neuroscience