It looks like the future is closer than we think. Check out the latest reports about Elon Musk’s Neuralink and its trials.
Musk’s Neuralink begins studies
Neuralink, a neurotechnology company owned by Elon Musk, has been given the green light by an independent review board and hospital to commence the recruitment process for the first-ever human trials of its brain implant designed for patients with paralysis.
Neuralink has announced that it is currently searching for patients with quadriplegia caused by either cervical spinal cord injury or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) for the clinical trial, known as the Precise Robotically Implanted Brain-Computer Interface Study (PRIME study).
The trial will use a robot to implant a wireless brain-computer interface (BCI) in a section of the brain that controls movement intention.
Once in place, the implant is “cosmetically invisible” and will “record and transmit brain signals wirelessly to an app that decodes movement intention,” Neuralink said.
San Francisco-based Neuralink, which was co-founded by Musk in 2016, aims to build “the first neural implant that will let you control a computer or mobile device anywhere you go,” according to its website.
A trial is set to take place which will last approximately six years. It aims to assess the safety and effectiveness of a new implant that enables participants to control a computer cursor or keyboard through thought alone. Neuralink is conducting this study on humans under the investigational device exemption (IDE) after receiving approval from the Food and Drug Administration in May.
The company has been testing brain implants on animals since 2019 and successfully implanted artificial intelligence microchips in the brain of a pig called Gertie in 2020.
The upcoming human trial conducted by Neuralink will include a primary study, BCI research sessions, and a long-term follow-up. Participants will be required to attend nine clinic visits and at-home sessions over the course of 18 months.
In addition, they will need to participate in research sessions twice a week for an hour throughout the study and complete 20 long-term follow-ups over five years.