Elon Musk says the first human patient received a brain transplant from Neuralink

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Musk said the first product from Neuralink will be called Telepathy.



CNN

The billionaire said that the controversial startup Neuralink, owned by Elon Musk, has implanted a chip in a human brain for the first time. Publishing on its X platform Late Monday.

He added that the operation was performed on Sunday and the patient is recovering well.

Musk's announcement could mark an important milestone for Neuralink's efforts to bring the potentially life-changing technology out of the lab and into the real world. But he provided few details, and it's unclear from Musk's post how important a scientific advance the transplant represents.

The company received approval to study the safety and functionality of chip implants and surgical instruments.

“Preliminary results show a promising discovery of neuronal spikes,” the world's richest man and founder of Neuralink said on his X social media platform.

Neuralink's first product will be called Telepathy, he said in another post, adding that its first users will be people who have lost the ability to use their limbs.

“Imagine if Stephen Hawking could communicate faster than a speed writer or an auctioneer. That's the point,” he wrote.

Neuralink has been working on using implants to connect the human brain to a computer for half a decade, but the company is working on it I faced scrutiny After a monkey died in 2022 while trying to convince the animal to play ping-pong, one of them First video games. In December 2022 employees He told Reuters That the company was rushing the market, resulting in animal deaths due to neglect and a federal investigation.

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In May last year, Neuralink Receive FDA approval for human clinical trials, and a few months later, the startup began recruiting patients with quadriplegia caused by cervical spinal cord injury or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

The trial is part of what Neuralink calls the “PRIME Study,” short for “Precision Robotic Implantable Brain-Computer Interface,” which aims to study the safety of its implantable and surgical robot, and test the functionality of its device. The company said in September Blog post About recruiting trial participants.

Trial patients will have a chip surgically placed in the part of the brain that controls movement intention. The chip installed by the robot will then record and send brain signals to the app, with the initial goal of “giving people the ability to control a computer cursor or keyboard using their thoughts alone,” the company wrote last September.

Neuralink did not respond to CNN's request for more details.

Before Neuralink's brain implants reach the broader market, they will need regulatory approval. The Food and Drug Administration established a paper In 2021, the agency's initial ideas for brain-computer interface devices will be outlined, noting that the field is “advancing rapidly.”

While Neuralink and Musk have received a lot of attention for their attempts to create a brain-computer interface, a number of other companies have also worked in this area, including a company called Synchron, which is the first company to receive FDA clearance to test a device in humans. in 2021. Since then, Syncon has begun enrolling patients and transplanting them into trials.

“The idea of ​​brain-neurological interfaces has great potential to help people with neurological disorders in the future,” Tara Spiers-Jones, president of the British Neuroscience Society, told the UK-based Science Media Center on Tuesday. “However, most of these interfaces require invasive neurosurgery and are still in experimental stages, so it will likely be many years before they become commonly available.”

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This story has been updated with additional developments and context.

CNN's Claire Duffy and Nadia Kounang contributed to this report.

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