Tuesday Jul 19 2022
Web Desk

Tech startup implants thinking device in ALS patient for the first time

Web Desk
Illustration representing a persons brain.  — Pixabay/ Gerd Altmann
Illustration representing a person's brain.  — Pixabay/ Gerd Altmann

On July 6, a doctor threaded an implant consisting of “wires and electrodes into a blood vessel” in the brain of an ALS patient at Mount Sinai West medical centre in New York, according to Bloomberg.

ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, creates muscle stiffness or weakness which eventually impacts all muscles, making it difficult to eat, breathe, and move.

However, the new device aims to allow ALS patients to send emails, text, and browse the internet by thinking. It will allow thoughts to transform into commands that will be sent to a computer.

The procedure has already been successfully completed on four ALS patients in Australia. Dr Shahram Majidi is the neurointerventional surgeon behind the surgeries.

“This surgery was special because of its implications and huge potential,” Dr Majidi told Bloomberg.

Synchron, founded in 2016, has been recognised by the brain-computer interface (BCI) field because of its device. Not only that, but the recent procedure allowed the startup to bypass numerous American competitors, including Elon Musk’s Neuralink Corp.