Neuralink Implants the First Brain Chip in a Human; Elon Musk Says ‘Patient Recovering Well’
The inaugural recipient of a brain-chip implant from Neuralink is in good recovery, according to Elon Musk, the founder of the brain-chip startup. Musk shared on the social media platform X that early results demonstrate promising neuron spike detection, with spikes signifying neural activity, as described by the National Institute of Health.
Last year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted Neuralink clearance for its first human trial, a crucial step in the company’s pursuit of assisting patients with paralysis and various neurological conditions.
In September, Neuralink received approval to recruit participants for the trial, utilizing a robotic system to surgically implant a brain-computer interface (BCI) in an area controlling the intention to move. The primary objective is to empower individuals to control a computer cursor or keyboard through their thoughts alone. Neuralink’s “ultra-fine” threads facilitate signal transmission in participants’ brains. Elon Musk revealed in a separate post on X that the initial product from Neuralink would be named Telepathy.
The ongoing PRIME Study evaluates the safety of the wireless brain-computer interface implant and the associated surgical robot. While Neuralink did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for additional details, the company has faced scrutiny over safety protocols. Earlier this month, Reuters reported a fine imposed on Neuralink for violating U.S. Department of Transportation rules on hazardous material transport.
As of June last year, Neuralink was valued at approximately $5 billion. In late November, four lawmakers called on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate potential misleading information from Musk about the technology’s safety.
Veterinary records revealed issues with monkey implants, including paralysis, seizures, and brain swelling. Musk clarified that no monkeys had died due to a Neuralink implant and emphasized the selection of “terminal” monkeys to minimize risks to healthy individuals in a social media post on September 10.
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