Elon Musk says his startup Neuralink has implanted a device in its first human – NBC New York

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By Dan Sears

Elon Musk said his computer-brain interface company Neuralink implanted a chip in a human brain for the first time on Sunday.

In a Monday post on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, Musk said that the patient received the implant the day prior and was “recovering well.” He added that “initial results show promising neuron spike detection.”

The billionaire, who co-founded Neuralink, did not provide additional details about the patient. When Neuralink announced in September that it would begin recruiting people, the company said it was searching for individuals with quadriplegia due to cervical spinal cord injury or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

Neuralink reposted Musk’s Monday post on X, but did not publish any additional statements acknowledging the human implant. The company did not immediately respond to The Associated Press’ requests for comment Tuesday.

The Food and Drug Administration, which regulates medical devices and would need to approve any consumer product, did not immediately respond to NBC’s request for comment on Musk’s announcement. 

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Neuralink’s device is about the size of a large coin and is designed to be implanted in the skull, with ultra-thin wires going directly into the brain. In its September announcement, Neuralink said the wires would be surgically placed in a region of the brain that controls movement intention. The initial goal of the so-called brain computer interface is to give people the ability to control a computer cursor or keyboard using their thoughts alone.

In a separate Monday post on X, Musk said that the first Neuralink product is called “Telepathy” — which, he said, will enable users to control their phones or computers “just by thinking.” He added that intial users would be those who have lost use of their limbs.

It’s unclear how well this device or similar interfaces will ultimately work, or how safe they might be. Clinical trials are designed to collect data on safety and effectiveness.

Neuralink is one of many groups working on linking the nervous system to computers, efforts aimed at helping treat brain disorders, overcoming brain injuries and other applications. There are more than 40 brain computer interface trials underway, according to clinicaltrials.gov.

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