I wonder why so much money gets thrown at the same basic studies over and over again. My personal hair-puller is the ones that call for subjects "with chronic CRPS, with only one affected limb." They must be testing the same dozen people over and over and over again. Wait, they can't, because if the subjects have chronic CRPS with only one limb affected, they're either about to get better or much worse.
It's all very well to keep re-proving a treatment until a level of acceptance is reached, but there are more effective and cheaper avenues -- and much richer ones -- that are passed by, in favor of flogging a handful of horses who are, at best, unconscious.
It has been too long since significant effort has gone into much more basic research: by and large, we're still working with the scientific equivalent of the horse collar, when it comes to pain management -- not the Ferrari. In fact, it's unclear to me why we're still fixated on management, when we need to think in terms of cure. Most chronic pain is needless.
If we knew more about the relevant neurochemistry and cellular metabolism, we'd be in a MUCH better position to figure out when NSAIDS, lido, shock, acupuncture, spinal cord stim, or ketamine comas will work, and when they'll just be another doorway into hell.
Can you imagine how much money -- and misery, and time -- it would save to have a short list of things to try, based not on each doctor's semi-religious leanings or equipment contracts, but based on each body's signal framework and chemical signature?
Dreaming is free. Studies require funding. Follow the money, and unfortunately the reasons behind all this brutal silliness become clear.