Neuralink Begins Recruiting Patients for Clinical Trial on Brain Implants

Neuralink Corp., the brain implant startup founded by Elon Musk, is taking a significant step forward by recruiting patients for a clinical trial. The company aims to evaluate the safety and efficacy of its brain implant technology in individuals with quadriplegia due to cervical spinal cord injury or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

The primary objective of the trial is to give patients the ability to control a computer cursor or keyboard using their thoughts alone. While Elon Musk has discussed ambitious goals for Neuralink, such as language learning and direct mental communication, the first priority is to address brain injuries and disabilities. This announcement has generated great anticipation in the field of brain implants.

Neuralink’s breakthrough comes after other companies have successfully implanted similar devices in patients. Synchron Inc., for instance, has used a different approach by implanting devices in the brain through blood vessels rather than traditional brain surgery. The initial approval for Neuralink’s trial was granted in May this year by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under an investigational device exemption. The company has also secured approval from an undisclosed hospital where the surgeries will take place.

While this is an exciting development, it is crucial to note that the path to widespread deployment of brain implants is a long one. It usually takes years for such trials to be completed and for regulatory approval to be obtained. Nonetheless, with Neuralink’s recruitment of patients for its clinical trial, the prospect of interacting with external devices through thoughts and restoring lost functionalities is one step closer to becoming a reality.

– Bloomberg (no URL provided)