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Neuralink Brain Implant - Good or not?

The Research article about the Neuralink Brain Implant Issues


In May 2023, Neuralink was accepted by the FDA to conduct human clinical trials, after a 2022 application was turned down due to safety issues related to the device's lithium battery, wire migration in the brain, and concerns about safe removal without brain tissue damage.

Neuralink commenced its initial human trials in September 2023. It enlisted individuals with quadriplegia caused by cervical spinal cord injury or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis through an investigation device exemption approved by the FDA.

On January 29, 2024, Musk announced that Neuralink had successfully inserted a brain computer interface (BCI) device named Telepathy into a human the day before. The patient was said to be recovering from the surgery. This was a pioneering trial by Neuralink to develop a concept, therefore the company was not required to share specific details about the procedure or demonstrate safety and effectiveness. Additional information about the implant was provided by Neuralink in February in a recruitment brochure for the PRIME study. Musk revealed on February 20 that the first participant in Neuralink's human trial was able to control a computer mouse using just their thoughts.

On March 20, 2024, Neuralink presented 29-year-old Noland Arbaugh, the recipient of the first Neuralink implant in the clinical trial, on a live broadcast on X. Arbaugh had become paralyzed from the neck down following a diving accident that dislocated his C4 and C5 spinal vertebrae. Later on the livestream, Noland showcased his skills in moving a cursor on a computer screen, enabling him to control music and participate in activities such as playing chess. Noland stated his backing for the implant in greatly enhancing his quality of life.

According to the company's blogpost, there was a first-time malfunction in certain parts of the brain chip.

Neuralink constructed a brain-computer interface, known as BCI, to assist individuals with paralysis in operating external technology using their thoughts. The Link, a system developed by the company, captures neural signals with 1,024 electrodes spread out over 64 strands thinner than a human hair.

Some of the threads studded with electrodes in the brain tissue started to draw back from the tissue, according to the company's report. This resulted in the chip not working properly. Neuralink has verified that it has resolved the issue through a succession of software revisions. According to the blogpost, we adjusted the recording algorithm to be more responsive to neural population signals, upgraded the methods for converting these signals into cursor movements, and made improvements to the user interface. These adjustments led to a quick and continual enhancement in BPS that has surpassed Noland's original results.

The Wall Street Journal previously reported a brain chip malfunction, which the company later addressed in a blog post.

Neuralink announced plans to enhance the Link's capabilities to interact with the real world, allowing users to manipulate robotic arms, wheelchairs, and other devices. The blog post mentioned that this could potentially enhance autonomy for individuals with quadriplegia.

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