Neuralink is a neural technology startup founded by Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla. It has announced that it has been given permission to conduct the first-ever human trial of its brain-computer interface transplant. And what’s that? This implant aims to help paralyzed patients regain the ability to perform basic movements like moving a cursor or using a keyboard. In this blog post, we’ll talk about the nature of these trials and how such technology can improve medical procedures. Let’s get started
Let’s take a glimpse into these trials. For conducting the clinical trials for this new implant, Neuralink will recruit participants. Patients with neural disease for example amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and spinal cord injuries are eligible to take part in the study. During the trials, a robot will surgically implant a brain-computer interface in the region of the brain that controls movements. This implant might take six years to complete.
As this is a quite new technology, there are some concerns regarding the safety of the patients during the trials. The Food and Drug Administration(FDA) has asked Neuralink to adjust its trial requirements. The number of participants, which was ten previously, has been changed to a number that they didn’t tell publically. This and some other steps are made to ensure that these trials are safe for the patients.
The Future of Neuralink’s Brain Implants
Will such implants be made in the future? Well, if the trials prove successful, efficient, and safe for the patients, then Neuralink has covered a big milestone towards the cure of paralysis. Not only that, this technology can be further improved and can be used to treat other diseases too. Robotic surgery is already in practice and such implants can raise it to further heights.
However, it should be kept in mind that even if the trials succeed, the commercialization of this technology may still take a complete decade due to the regulatory processes.
The Neuralink’s brain implant may raise some ethical questions. For example the moral ramifications of the invasive nature of this surgery and its use on defenseless patients and those who might not understand the potential dangers of such procedures. Moreover, we don’t know at the moment what could be the potential long-term effects of a brain implant. So if this technology becomes prevalent, there’ll be a need for extensive regulatory and ethical standards regarding its use.
Neuralink is conducting human trials of its new brain-computer implant that can help paralyzed patients perform basic movements. If the trials are successful, then this technology has the potential to transform our surgical procedures by making them more efficient and precise. This new technology would come with its safety and ethical concerns and there should be appropriate regulatory standards to address such issues.