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Human Trials for Brain Implant to Aid Paralysis Patients to Commence, Announces Musk’s Neuralink

Neuralink, the neurotechnology company founded by Elon Musk, has received approval to begin recruiting for its first-ever human trials of a brain implant for paralysis patients. The trial, known as the PRIME study, will use a robot to surgically place a wireless brain-computer interface (BCI) implant in a specific region of the brain that controls movement intention. Once implanted, the BCI will record and transmit brain signals wirelessly to an app that decodes movement intention. The upcoming trial aims to test the safety and initial effectiveness of the implant, allowing participants to control a computer cursor or keyboard using their thoughts. The study will take around six years to complete and is being conducted under the investigational device exemption (IDE). Neuralink has faced concerns over its animal research practices, as well as recent investigations by the US Department of Transportation and the US Department of Agriculture’s Office of Inspector General. Eligible participants for the human trial must be at least 22 years old, have quadriplegia due to spinal cord injury or ALS, and have no improvement in their condition for at least one year. They must also have a consistent and reliable caregiver.

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