The inaugural human recipient of a brain-chip implant from Neuralink is in good recovery following the procedure on Sunday.
The initial human recipient of an implant from brain-chip startup Neuralink underwent the procedure on Sunday and is reportedly recovering well, according to the company’s billionaire founder Elon Musk.
“Initial results indicate promising neuron spike detection,” Musk stated in a post on the social media platform X on Monday.
Neuron spikes, described by the National Institute of Health as the activity of neurons, involve cells transmitting information through electrical and chemical signals within the brain and body.
Last year, the US Food and Drug Administration granted clearance to Neuralink to conduct its first trial, marking a significant milestone in the startup’s efforts to assist patients dealing with paralysis and various neurological conditions.
In September, Neuralink announced approval for recruitment in the human trial.
The study involves the use of a robot to surgically implant a brain-computer interface (BCI) in an area of the brain responsible for movement intention. Neuralink’s initial objective is to enable individuals to control a computer cursor or keyboard solely through their thoughts.
Neuralink has stated that the “ultra-fine” threads of its implants facilitate signal transmission within participants’ brains.
In a separate post on X, Elon Musk mentioned that the first product from Neuralink would be called Telepathy.
The startup’s PRIME Study is conducting a trial for its wireless brain-computer interface to assess the safety of the implant and surgical robot.
Neuralink did not provide an immediate response to a Reuters inquiry seeking additional information.
The company has faced scrutiny regarding its safety protocols, with Reuters reporting earlier this month that it was fined for violating US Department of Transportation (DOT) rules concerning the transportation of hazardous materials.
While the company was valued at around $5 billion last June, four lawmakers in late November urged the US Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate whether Musk had misrepresented the safety of its technology to investors, following reports of issues with implants on monkeys, including paralysis, seizures, and brain swelling.
Musk stated in a social media post on Sept. 10 that “no monkey has died as a result of a Neuralink implant.” He also mentioned that the company had selected “terminal” monkeys to minimize risks to healthy ones.