IMO this is exactly what we need in the US to speed up the approval process at the FDA and help eliminate the redundancy of repeating studies that have already been done and proven overseas. It would greatly benefit us all.
These kind of policies need to be encouraged.
For the record I have lower motor neuron damage so this treatment along with others isn't anything that will benefit me anytime soon. Just the more I learn about research the more confused and frustrated I become. While I think there are some people that really want to help us, I do see a huge lack of collaboration and possibly people wanting to make sure that it is their work and their work alone that did it. Probably has to do with competing for funding as well.
You pretty much hit the nail on the head. It frustrates the hell out of me as well, it honestly makes me livid sometimes. I am in the second year of getting my PhD, and we young students hear all the time about how it's important to publish in high impact journals, to present at conferences, to get awards, to get grants...I have not once heard about how it is important to do research that makes an impact towards an ultimate goal (like curing SCI). Scientists must compete for funding as part of their jobs, and often times competing for funding undermines the integrity of the scientific work itself.
In a lot of disease populations, SCI included, a lot of researchers look at SCI as an interesting scientific problem, and are not focused on an ultimate goal of making an impact in the lives of people with SCI. This is nothing I fault them for, there are a lot of factors that go into that mentality. But you are right, there is a big lack of collaboration - sometimes this is because of egos, sometimes it is because of a lack of resources, and sometimes there is a lack of understanding about what other scientists can contribute or are trying to accomplish.
IMO, the most important yet least frequent type of collaboration there is, is collaboration between researchers and people who actually have an SCI. More people with SCI need to understand the scientific process, and more researchers need to understand the needs of the SCI population if we want a cure to come faster.
The Stimulette is a muscle stimulator for those who have lower motor neuron damage and can't use FES to combat muscle atrophy. Last I checked, the stimulette is not FDA approved, and cannot be prescribed by doctors in the USA.
When you hear of animal trials, it makes you feel like it's going backwards and as long as it has taken to get to this point. It seems like it will be years and years for it to possibly ever get the point of helping people.