Musk’s Neuralink set to unleash brain implant trial for paralysis patients


CALIFORNIA: Elon Musk’s neurotechnology venture, Neuralink, is embarking on the recruitment of patients for its inaugural in-human clinical trial, as disclosed in an official blog post.

According to CNBC, Neuralink on Tuesday revealed that its research initiative, known as the PRIME Study, is now actively seeking patient participants following approvals from an independent institutional review board and a designated hospital site.

The pivotal development follows Neuralink’s recent endorsement by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in May, enabling the startup to initiate its inaugural in-human clinical investigation.

The reports said that participation in the trial will include patients undergoing invasive brain surgery. Neuralink is pioneering the development of a brain implant designed to empower individuals with severe paralysis to command external technologies solely through neural signals. This breakthrough promises renewed communication capabilities for patients grappling with debilitating conditions like Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), allowing them to interact with loved ones through the manipulation of cursors and typing via neural commands.

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“The primary objective of our Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) is to grant individuals the ability to control computer cursors or keyboards through their thoughts alone,” affirmed the company in its blog statement. Neuralink did not provide immediate comments in response to CNBC’s queries.

Neuralink is a prominent player in the emerging field of brain-computer interfaces (BCIs), focused on decoding brain signals and translating them into instructions for external technologies. Although several companies have made strides in developing promising BCI systems poised for market entry, Neuralink stands out due to the association with its CEO, Elon Musk, who concurrently leads Tesla and SpaceX.

As of September, no BCI enterprise has secured the FDA’s ultimate endorsement. Nonetheless, with the green light to commence patient recruitment for its clinical study, Neuralink has advanced one step closer to realising its groundbreaking vision.

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