Brain implant trial – level 3

25-09-2023 15:00

Elon Musk’s brain-chip startup Neuralink has gained approval to start recruiting participants for the first human trial of its brain implant designed for people with paralysis due to spinal cord injuries or ALS.

Although the exact number of participants hasn’t been disclosed, the trial is expected to last about six years. During the study, a robot will surgically implant a brain-computer interface in the part of the brain responsible for movement intention. Neuralink’s initial goal is to enable individuals to control a computer cursor or keyboard using their thoughts.

Neuralink initially aimed to implant the device in ten patients but had to negotiate with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to reduce the number due to safety concerns. Elon Musk envisions broader applications for Neuralink’s technology, including addressing conditions like obesity, autism, depression, and schizophrenia. However, even if the device proves safe for human use, experts suggest it could take more than a decade to obtain commercial use clearance.

Difficult words: paralysis (the loss of the ability to move or feel part of the body), spinal cord (the set of nerves inside the spine that connect the brain to other nerves in the body), envision (to imagine as a future possibility).

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What are the potential benefits of using Neuralink’s brain-computer interface technology in the long run?


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