Millions of people worldwide currently suffer from serious neurological diseases and injuries for which there are few, and often no, effective treatments. The paucity of effective interventions is, no doubt, due in large part to the complexity of the disorders, as well as our currently limited understanding of their pathophysiology. The bleak picture for patients, however, is also attributable to avoidable impediments stemming from quality concerns in preclinical research that often escape detection by research regulation efforts. In our essay, we connect the dots between these concerns about the quality of preclinical research and their potential ethical impact on the patients who volunteer for early trials of interventions informed by it. We do so in hopes that a greater appreciation among preclinical researchers of these serious ethical consequences can lead to a greater commitment within the research community to adopt widely available tools and measures that can help to improve the quality of research.
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