Wednesday, September 20, 2023
Neuralink, a brain-chip startup founded by tech billionaire Elon Musk, announced on Tuesday that it has been given the go-ahead to start recruiting for the first human trial of its brain implant for paralysis patients.
The company stated that those with paralysis brought on by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or cervical spinal cord damage may be eligible for the study.
However, it did not specify how many people will sign up for the trial, which will last for around six years, Reuters reported.
According to Neuralink, the study's primary objective is to make it possible for people to operate a computer cursor or keyboard just with their thoughts.
To achieve this, a brain-computer interface (BCI) implant will be surgically implanted in a part of the brain that governs the intention to move.
According to current and former workers, the business, which had planned to get approval to implant its device in 10 patients, was negotiating a smaller number of patients with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) when the agency voiced safety concerns.
However, the number of patients who have been finally authorised by the FDA.
Musk, who has high hopes for Neuralink, claims that the company would enable quick surgical insertions of its chip devices to cure illnesses like obesity, autism, depression, and schizophrenia.
Despite already being under federal examination for its treatment of animal testing, the business announced in May that it had gotten approval from the FDA for its first-in-human clinical trial.
Furthermore, experts predict that it could take the startup more than 10 years to obtain commercial use permission for the BCI device, even if it turns out to be safe for human usage.