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Neuralink Gains FDA Approval for Second Brain Implant Procedure

ByHuey Yee Ong

May 22, 2024

Neuralink Gains FDA Approval for Second Brain Implant Procedure

Neuralink has secured approval from the FDA to conduct a second surgical implantation of its device into another patient, according to The Wall Street Journal. This development comes months after Noland Arbaugh became the first recipient of Neuralink’s brain implant, marking a significant advancement in medical technology aimed at aiding individuals with severe mobility impairments.

Elon Musk, the CEO of Neuralink, announced last week that the search was underway for the second participant in this pioneering trial. The initial call for participants began last year, targeting individuals with ALS, spinal cord injuries, or other conditions leading to quadriplegia. The objective is to enable them to control digital interfaces through thought alone, potentially restoring some degree of autonomy to their daily lives.

The decision to proceed with a second implantation follows reports of a malfunction in Arbaugh’s device approximately one month post-operation. Neuralink identified that some implant threads had retracted from the brain, which interfered with the device’s functionality.

Recent updates, however, have reportedly restored many of the lost capabilities. Arbaugh, paralyzed from the neck down, has demonstrated the ability to play chess and control a music player app among other activities, as shown in videos released by the company.

In response to the initial complication, Neuralink has proposed an adjustment for the upcoming procedure. The plan involves positioning the implant’s threads deeper within the brain to minimize movement, a modification that the FDA has endorsed. With the aim of conducting the surgery in June, the trial has attracted over 1,000 applicants hoping to participate.



Featured Image courtesy of Future Publishing via Getty Images

Huey Yee Ong

Hello, from one tech geek to another. Not your beloved TechCrunch writer, but a writer with an avid interest in the fast-paced tech scenes and all the latest tech mojo. I bring with me a unique take towards tech with a honed applied psychology perspective to make tech news digestible. In other words, I deliver tech news that is easy to read.

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