Elon Musk's Brain Implant Company Neuralink Begins Human Experiments
Neuralink is preparing to move into the human trial phase. Elon Musk's neurotechnology company was accused of torturing animals.
20 September 2023, 21.29Neuralink Company Begins Human Experiments
Elon Musk's controversial biotechnology initiative Neuralink is preparing to start human experiments with approval from an independent review board.Founded in 2016, Neuralink started the year as a project that basically aims to connect the human brain to computers or other devices. The project, whose aim is to develop a type of brain-computer interface (BCI) that will enable the interaction of the brain and computers, has gone through many controversial stages until today. It has even been claimed that animals were tortured in the project, which has been carried out with animal experiments so far. Musk recently said that they only installed these chips in monkeys that were on the verge of death.
While these discussions are not over yet, it has now been announced that the Neuralink project has been approved by an independent review board and applications for the first human trial of the brain implant for paralyzed patients have started.According to the information shared on Neuralink's blog page, those who are paralyzed due to cervical spinal cord injury or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) can currently apply to this study. Subjects will be followed for 18 months at home and five years after treatment in the clinic. So this entire project will take six years in total. Information about how many participants will be accepted for the trials has not yet been shared.Neuralink Company Begins Human Experiments
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Trial patients will have a chip surgically implanted in the part of their brain that controls their intention to move. A chip implanted by a robot will then record brain signals and send them to an application, with the company's initial goal being to "give people the ability to control a computer cursor or keyboard using only their thoughts."Elon Mus had originally hoped to launch human trials at least four times since 2019. However, it did not receive approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) until 2022. The FDA rejected the application, citing safety concerns such as the migration of some parts of the implant to other parts of the brain and possible brain tissue damage when removing the devices. Stating that Neuralink submitted "most" of its documents to the FDA at a recruitment event in December last year, Musk stated that they could start tests on humans within six months.
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The billionaire entrepreneur stated that he has big goals for Neuralink and said that these devices will also facilitate rapid surgical procedures to treat conditions such as obesity, autism, depression and schizophrenia.Neuralink's brain implants will need regulatory approvals before they can appeal to a broader market.