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Neuralink, the neurotechnology company founded by Elon Musk, has received significant approval from the FDA to commence its first-ever human clinical study.
Alongside his ventures with Tesla, Twitter, and SpaceX, Musk has been particularly vocal about Neuralink—a company focused on developing implantable brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) aimed at treating neurological disorders, enhancing human cognition, and establishing a new form of human-machine communication.
Neuralink recently took to Twitter to announce the FDA’s approval, expressing excitement and recognizing the collaborative effort between their team and the regulatory agency.
The company’s tweet stated, “We are excited to share that we have received the FDA’s approval to launch our first-in-human clinical study! This is the result of incredible work by the Neuralink team in close collaboration with the FDA and represents an important first step that will one day allow our technology to help many people.”
How it works:
Neuralink’s BCIs consist of a thin, flexible chip that is surgically implanted into the brain, connected to a small wireless transmitter positioned outside the skull. This transmitter facilitates the bidirectional transmission of signals between the chip and a computer system.
The implanted chip comprises thousands of miniature electrodes capable of recording and stimulating neural activity. This enables the BCI to monitor brain functions and provide feedback signals to control movement, sensation, and other physiological processes.
Successful Animal Testing:
Neuralink has already achieved successful testing of its BCIs in animals. In a notable demonstration in 2019, the company showcased a video of a monkey playing a video game solely using its thoughts.
The monkey had a Neuralink chip implanted in its brain, allowing the chip to monitor its neural activity and control the movement of a cursor on the screen.
They could revolutionize the treatment of various neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and spinal cord injuries. Additionally, the BCIs hold the promise of improving human cognition by enhancing memory, learning capabilities, and attention.
With the FDA’s approval, Neuralink is now poised to advance its groundbreaking technology through human trials, paving the way for a future where brain-computer interfaces may significantly impact the lives of many individuals.