Neuralink announced it launched a ‘patient registry’ opportunity for qualifying individuals who have interest in the brain-machine interface. The neuro-technology company developed a brain implant that is a coin-sized ‘Link’ chip with electrode threads that are implanted in the motor-cortex (sensory area) of the brain to stimulate neurons. The device is designed to give paralyzed people the ability to control a computer, smartphone, and other devices, with only their thoughts. Neuralink is also working on using the brain chip to return vision and hearing abilities to individuals, among other medical applications. However, the company is still pending regulatory approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to test the device on humans.
People who qualify can sign up at Neuralink’s official website. “To apply and participate in the Patient Registry you must be at least 18 years old, meet the age of majority in your state, and be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident with any of the following: Tetraplegia or tetraparesis (paralysis or severe weakness in all four limbs), Paraplegia (paralysis in at least two limbs), Vision loss, Deafness, Aphasia (inability to speak),” says Neuralink. “Participation in the Patient Registry is voluntary and you have the right to withdraw your consent at any time. To participate, you’ll have to complete the Patient Registry informed consent form, authorize Neuralink to access your medical records, and complete a questionnaire. There is no compensation nor anticipated benefit for participating in the Patient Registry; however, if you meet preliminary eligibility for a future Neuralink clinical trial you may be contacted with more information once it is available for enrollment,” the company wrote on its site, linked below.
We launched a patient registry last month! You can read about it here https://t.co/vToKbUivOu— Neuralink (@neuralink) January 31, 2023
The Link chip has only been tested on animals, including pigs and monkeys. In December 2022, Neuralink founder Elon Musk showcased a monkey “typing telepathically” via a Link chip implanted in its brain. The monkey, named ‘Sake,’ could type by thinking of where to move the cursor on a virtual keyboard (video linked below). Sake typed the phrases: "welcome to show and tell" and "can i please have snacks." The monkey did not actually learn how to spell, instead, Neuralink teams taught Sake how to track the letters highlighted in yellow on the screen like a video game. The Link chip embedded in the monkey's skull registers the brain activity then sends a signal wirelessly to move the cursor around the computer screen. “We are confident someone who has no other interface to the outside world would be better to control their phone better than someone who has working hands," Musk said at the Neuralink ‘Show & Tell’ event last year. "Sake the monkey is moving the mouse cursor using just his mind." For more information visit Neuralink.com.
VIDEO: Neuralink Show & Tell Event - Fall 2022
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Featured Image Source: Neuralink.com
About the Author
Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo
Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.