Updated January 30th, 2024 at 13:21 IST

Elon Musk: First Human Patient Receives Brain Chip Transplant, Recovering Well

Elon Musk, founder of Neuralink, shared on X that the inaugural human has successfully undergone an implant from the brain-chip startup on Sunday, Jan 28.

Reported by: Manasvi Asthana
Elon Musk announces successful Neuralink brain chip implant in human recipient amidst controversy | Image:Twitter
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Billionaire Elon Musk, the founder of Neuralink, shared on X (formerly known as Twitter) that the inaugural human has successfully undergone an implant from the brain-chip startup on Sunday, Jan 28. Musk also mentioned that the individual is recovering well. Last year, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the company's request to try out its implant on people for the first time. 

Initial results show promising neuron spike detection as shared by Musk on X. 

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What is spike?

Spikes refer to the activity of neurons which are cells described by the National Institute of Health as using electrical and chemical signals to transmit information within the brain and to the rest of the body.

Prime Study

The Prime study conducted by the startup is a trial for testing the safety of its wireless brain-computer interface which includes the implant and surgical robot.

Aim of the transplant

Neuralink's brain implant is designed to assist individuals with serious injuries in controlling computers using their thoughts. 

In May, the company got permission from the US Food and Drug Administration to start testing the implant on people. Towards the end of last year, Neuralink announced that it was looking for patients with quadriplegia caused by spinal cord injuries or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) to participate in the trial.

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Trials on animals

Musk's company has already done thorough tests on animals which has caused concern among some animal rights groups, particularly regarding the company's experiments involving primates.

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Last year, Neuralink achieved a significant milestone when it received clearance from the FDA for its inaugural trial to test the company's implant in humans.

Neuralink announced the implant trial in September. In the study, a robot created by the company will delicately insert ultra-fine threads to transmit signals within participants' brains.

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Published January 30th, 2024 at 13:21 IST