Neuralink has the green light to begin testing brain implants in people with paralysis
September 21, 2023

Neuralink has the green light to begin testing brain implants in people with paralysis

One of billionaire Elon Musk's companies has received approval from the relevant institutions to start recruitment for the first trial involving experimentation with chips in the human brain. So now the company Neuralink has the green light to start testing brain implants on people with paralysis.

Those patients with cervical spinal cord injury or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis may qualify for this study, but it was not revealed how many participants will be included in the trial. The study is expected to last about six years and will use a robot to surgically place a brain-computer interface (BCI) implant in the brain.

The implant should be implanted in the region of the brain that controls the intention to move, according to Neuralink. The company adds that their initial goal is to enable people to control a computer cursor or keyboard using only their thoughts.

Musk's company had hoped to receive approval for the installation of the implant in ten patients, but negotiated with the competent American institution FDA for a smaller number of people. This happened because the agency expressed concern about the safety of such a study, writes Reuters.

The owner of this company has big ambitions for it and claims that it would facilitate the rapid surgical insertion of his chip devices to treat conditions such as obesity, autism, depression and schizophrenia.

Back in May, the company announced that it had received FDA approval for the first human clinical trial, when it was already under US federal scrutiny for animal testing. The study can now officially begin as the company is looking for patients who would agree to it. Of course, even if the study succeeds, it would still take more than a decade before this kind of practice would eventually take root in modern and everyday medicine, according to experts.