The first human patient implanted with Neuralink’s brain-computer device is “recovering well,” according to Neuralink owner Elon Musk.
In a Jan. 29 post to X, Musk said the person successfully received the implant on Sunday, Jan. 28. He added that the initial results showed “promising neuron spike detection.”
The first human received an implant from @Neuralink yesterday and is recovering well.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 29, 2024
Initial results show promising neuron spike detection.
Neuralink’s brain implant aims to assist those with debilitating injuries or paralysis to interact with a phone or computer just by thinking, Musk said, noting that the first product from Neuralink is called Telepathy.
“Imagine if Stephen Hawking could communicate faster than a speed typist or auctioneer. That is the goal.”
Neuralink first opened up applications for human clinical trials in September last year, after the company had received approval for its PRIME (Precise Robotically Implanted Brain-Computer Interface) study from the United States Food and Drug Administration in May 2023, according to a Sept. 19 blog post from the firm.
The initial goal of the PRIME study is to create a successful Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) that allows people to “control a computer cursor or keyboard using their thoughts alone.”
The BCI works by opening up a small section in the patient’s skull and using a surgical robot to implant the Neuralink device — which is comprised of “ultra-fine and flexible threads” — in a region of the brain that controls movement intention.
Once the device has been implanted, it becomes “cosmetically invisible” and acts as a recording and transmission device to wirelessly transmit data to an app that then decodes the patient’s thoughts into digital movement on a device.
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Neuralink’s safety procedures have come under fire from regulators in recent months, with four U.S. lawmakers requesting that the SEC investigate allegedly false claims made by Elon Musk regarding the safety of Neuralink implants.
In a now-deleted Sept. 10 X post, Musk said that “no monkeys had died” as a result of the Neaurlink implants. The lawmakers insisted that this was a knowingly false statement designed to mislead investors.
In a Sept. 20 letter to the SEC’s enforcement division, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine wrote that at least 12 young monkeys were euthanized after developing debilitating health problems directly related to Neuralink’s implants.
Neuralink did not immediately respond to Cointelegraph’s request for comment.
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