Neuralink Gets US Nod For Human Trials

Neuralink Gets US Nod For Human Trials

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Neuralink, Elon Musk's brain implant company, has received approval from U.S. regulators to start testing its device on humans.

On Thursday night, the company announced on Twitter about a study, but no information was given. The study wasn't on the government's database of clinical trials.

The FDA didn't say if they gave the approval. The press officer said the FDA knows about the announcement.

Neuralink wants to connect nervous systems to computers. This could help brain disorders and injuries. Many groups are working on this. It has other uses too.

Researchers in Switzerland found a way to help a paralyzed man stand and walk using a brain and spinal cord implant. The study was published in the journal Nature. Over 30 other trials are currently testing brain and spine computer interfaces, as listed on

Musk, who owns Twitter and leads Tesla and SpaceX, announced in December his team was pursuing permission to test their Neuralink device.

The device is small, it's like a big coin. It gets put inside your head and there are skinny wires that go straight into your brain. Elon Musk thinks that the first two ways to use it would be to make people be able to see again and to help people who can't move their bodies very well use computers. He also thinks that you could use the signals from your brain to control things like computers even if your neck is broken.

Musk has talked about the Neuralink device. Rajesh Rao works at the University of Washington. He thinks Neuralink is not leading in brain-computer interfaces. But, he says they are ahead in device hardware.

We don't know how good this interface will be or how safe it is. It's called an investigational device for now and clinical trials will check if it's safe and effective.

Neuralink tweeted that they aren't looking for participants yet. They will give more details soon.

Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Science and Educational Media Group supports the AP Health and Science Department. The content responsibility lies entirely with the AP.

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