Elon Musk's Neuralink opens applications for brain implant trials: Who can apply and how?

Author:HT News Desk 2024-05-17 17:50 15

After completing over 100 days of clinical trials with its first participant to receive his Neuralink implant and the surgery going “extremely well”, Neuralink is inviting more applications for clinical trials.

In January, Neuralink implanted its device in the brain of Noland Arbaugh, its first patient.(Neuralink)

“Neuralink is accepting applications for the second participant. This is our Telepathy cybernetic brain implant that allows you to control your phone and computer just by thinking,” Elon Musk, the neurotechnology company's boss said in an X post.

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Neuralink aims to help paralysed patients control digital devices using their thoughts alone.

How to apply for Neuralink trial?

The PRIME Study, short for Precise Robotically Implanted Brain-Computer Interface, is an investigational medical device trial for Neuralink's fully-implantable, wireless brain-computer interface (BCI). It aims to assess the safety of the N1 implant and R1 surgical robot, as well as the initial functionality of the BCI for enabling individuals with quadriplegia to control external devices using their thoughts.

1. Eligibility criteria: Individuals within the United States or Canada, aged 18 or older, who have quadriplegia, paraplegia, vision loss, hearing loss, the inability to speak, and/or major limb amputation (above or below the elbow and/or knee), and are able to consent, are invited to participate in the Patient Registry.

2. Registration process: Prospective participants can click here or visit- https://neuralink.com/patient-registry/ They will be asked to provide medical information, demographics, education, work details, and information about assistive technologies used. Medical records will be required for participation. If applicable, contact information for legally authorised representatives will also be requested.

3. Clinical trial enrollment: Neuralink has one clinical trial available for enrollment in the United States. Participants who meet preliminary eligibility criteria based on the Patient Registry may be contacted to inform them about current and/or future clinical trials.

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First clinical trial 'successful'

In January, Neuralink implanted its device in the brain of Noland Arbaugh, its first patient. Arbaugh, paralysed from the shoulders down since a diving accident in 2016, has experienced significant progress with the device, the company has said.

Through Neuralink's technology, he can play video games, browse the internet, and control a computer cursor on his laptop using only his thoughts. According to Neuralink, Arbaugh quickly surpassed the world record for cursor control speed after the surgery.

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'Implants wires moved out of position'

Last week, Neuralink revealed that the implant's tiny wires inside the brain of its first patient moved out of position during its first human trial, resulting in fewer electrodes to measure brain signals.

Reportedly, this problem was already known to the company for years. Despite knowing about the risk from previous animal testing, Neuralink proceeded with its US approval last year. The company believed the chance of wire retraction was low and did not warrant a redesign.

READ HERE- Elon Musk's Neuralink has faced issues with its tiny wires for years: Report

However, the company managed to restore the implant's function by making adjustments, including refining its algorithm to enhance sensitivity.

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Title:Elon Musk's Neuralink opens applications for brain implant trials: Who can apply and how?