Neuralink Cleared for Second Brain Implant Procedure by FDA

Neuralink Cleared for Second Brain Implant Procedure by FDA

Neuralink, the neurotechnology company founded by Elon Musk, has received FDA clearance for a second brain implant procedure, marking a significant milestone in the company’s mission to develop advanced neural interfaces. This approval comes months after Noland Arbaugh became the first person to receive the experimental brain implant designed to help individuals with neurological conditions.

Neuralink’s brain implant aims to revolutionise the treatment of conditions like ALS, spinal cord injuries, and other causes of quadriplegia. The company’s technology promises to restore motor function and improve the quality of life for patients who have lost the ability to perform basic tasks. The FDA’s decision to approve a second procedure underscores the potential of Neuralink’s innovations and the progress made since its initial trials.

The first recipient, Noland Arbaugh, experienced a malfunction in his implant about a month post-surgery when some of the device’s threads retracted from his brain, impairing its functionality. Neuralink has since identified the problem and developed a solution. The company has indicated that software updates have restored many of the implant’s capabilities, as demonstrated by Arbaugh’s ability to play chess, control a music player app, and perform other activities despite being paralysed from the neck down.

To prevent similar issues in future procedures, Neuralink plans to place the implant’s threads deeper into the brain. This adjustment is expected to minimise the movement of the threads and enhance the device’s stability and performance. According to The Wall Street Journal, the FDA has endorsed these modifications, allowing Neuralink to proceed with its refined approach.

Neuralink Cleared for Second Brain Implant Procedure by FDA

Recruitment for the Next Phase

Elon Musk recently announced that Neuralink is now accepting applications for the second participant in its clinical trial. The company began recruiting potential participants last year, focusing on individuals with severe neurological impairments. Interest in the trial has been high, with over 1,000 people signing up for a chance to participate.

Neuralink hopes to conduct the second implantation procedure in June, further testing the durability and effectiveness of its enhanced design. If successful, this could pave the way for broader clinical trials and eventual commercial availability of the technology.

The implications of Neuralink’s advancements extend beyond the immediate applications for ALS and spinal cord injuries. Successful development of this technology could lead to breakthroughs in treating a wide range of neurological disorders, potentially restoring cognitive and motor functions in patients who have suffered brain injuries or strokes.

Moreover, the ability to interface directly with the brain opens up possibilities for new ways of interacting with computers and other digital devices. While the primary focus remains on medical applications, the long-term potential of Neuralink’s technology could reshape our understanding of human-machine interaction.


Yahoo! Finance


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