Elon Musk, the billionaire founder of the company, announced that the first human patient received an implant from the brain-chip startup Neuralink on Sunday, and is showing signs of improvement.
Musk stated on social media platform, Twitter, on Monday, “Preliminary results show detection of neural spikes.”
Neural spikes refer to the activity by neurons, described by the National Institute of Health as cells that use electrical and chemical signals to transmit information in the brain and body.
Last year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted the company approval to conduct its first human trials testing the implant on individuals recovering from stroke and various neurological conditions, marking a significant milestone for the ambitious goals of the startup.
In September, Neuralink announced that it had received approval to recruit participants for human testing.
Neuralink had initially mentioned that in their study, a robot is used to surgically implant a brain-computer interface (BCI) in a region of the brain, utilizing electrical and chemical signals to send information between the brain and body, with the primary goal being to enable people to control a computer cursor or keyboard using only their thoughts.
The company claimed that the “ultra-fine” threads of the implant aid in transmitting signals in the participants’ brains.
In a separate post on Twitter, Musk mentioned that the first product from Neuralink will be called telepathy.
Testing the wireless brain-computer interface is part of the startup’s PRIME research, which evaluates implant and surgical robot security.
A request for further information from Reuters was not immediately answered by Neuralink.
There are concerns those have been raised about the company’s security procedures. The U.S. Department of Transportation punished the corporation earlier this month for breaking regulations pertaining to the transportation of hazardous commodities, particularly those pertaining to the auditory warnings of harmful compounds, according to a report by Reuters.
The company’s valuation was approximately $5 billion in June of last year, but at the end of November, four lawmakers urged the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate whether Musk misled investors about the security of his technology, as issues with implantation in monkeys, including strokes, were highlighted in veterinary records.
On September 10th, Musk wrote in a social media post, “No monkey deaths have resulted from Neuralink implants.” He stated that the company chose “terminal” monkeys to minimize risks for healthy ones.
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