Elon Musk reveals first human has received BRAIN implant from Neuralink ‘and is recovering well’ – as billionaire says they have had ‘promising neuron spike’

On Monday, Elon Musk announced that the first person had a Neuralink microchip implanted in their brain.

“The first person received an implant from @Neuralink yesterday and is recovering well,” he wrote on X.

“Initial Results Show Promising Neuron Spike Detection.”

The company aims to implant microchips in the brains of paralyzed people and enable them to move their bodies using their thoughts.

Neuralink received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration last year for its first trial to test the company’s implant in humans — a critical milestone for the startup. Until Sunday, the chips had only been implanted in monkeys and pigs.

Neuralink announced in September that the trial will evaluate the safety of its implant to enable people with paralysis to control external devices with their minds.

Details of the patient were not given, but Ashlee Vance, who wrote a 2015 biography, ‘Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future,’ wrote in a Bloomberg report that the ideal candidate for Neuralink’s first human trial was ‘an adult under the age of 40 whose four limbs are paralyzed’.

Vance explained that it would take a “couple of hours” for a surgeon to perform a craniectomy and a further 25 minutes for the chip to be inserted by a robot into the area of ​​the brain that the hands , control wrists and forearms.

“The goal is to show that the device can safely collect useful data from that part of the patient’s brain, a key step in Neuralink’s efforts to convert a person’s thoughts into a series of commands that a computer can understand,” Vance added.

On Monday, Musk announced that the first person had received a Neuralink brain implant

On Monday, Musk announced that the first person had received a Neuralink brain implant

Vance said the implant would transmit this information to a nearby laptop or tablet.

During the study, a robot developed by the company will surgically place the implants’ “ultra-fine” wires that help transmit signals into participants’ brains, the company said.

Vance, who said he visited Neuralink’s facilities ten times in three years, also revealed how Musk has pushed his company to fend off the threat from similar brain-computer startups Synchron and Onward.

Both have already started human trials, leading the billionaire to believe last year that the two companies were ‘kicking our a** right now’.

In response, he is said to have told Neuralink to pick up its pace “as the world is coming to an end,” according to Vance.

Reuters reported in June that the company was valued as high as $5 billion, based on private equity trading.

However, the company has been dogged by controversy in recent years, as it has sparked ethical concerns and skepticism among neuroscientists and other experts.

Where it's going: The study will use a robot to surgically place a brain-computer interface (BCI) implant in an area of ​​the brain that controls movement, Neuralink added.  Pictured is a scan showing the implant in an animal's brain

Where it’s going: The study will use a robot to surgically place a brain-computer interface (BCI) implant in an area of ​​the brain that controls movement, Neuralink added. Pictured is a scan showing the implant in an animal’s brain

Safety concerns meant that the firm struggled for a while to get the necessary approval for human trials, particularly from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Major issues involved the device’s lithium battery, the possibility of the implant’s wires migrating inside the brain, and the challenge of safely extracting the device without damaging brain tissue.

The FDA granted its approval later in May, but did not disclose how its initial concerns were resolved.

Despite the controversy, SpaceX and Tesla CEO Musk has big ambitions for Neuralink, saying the company will facilitate rapid surgical insertions of its chip devices to treat conditions such as obesity, autism, depression and schizophrenia.

It can also allow for web browsing and telepathy.

Even if the device turns out to be safe for human use, it could still take more than a decade for Neuralink to gain clearance to commercialize it, experts warned.

Goal: Neuralink aims to treat conditions such as paralysis and blindness by connecting brains to computers using microchips

Goal: Neuralink aims to treat conditions such as paralysis and blindness by connecting brains to computers using microchips

They say the brain implants will require extensive testing to overcome technical and ethical challenges if they are to become widely available.

Musk’s company – which was only founded in 2016 – has repeatedly overestimated the speed at which it fulfills its promises.

Neuralink initially wanted to get chips into people in 2020, before pushing it back to 2022.

Now it seems more likely that it won’t happen until 2024.

There was also a word of caution from one of the company’s executives in response to Musk’s claims.

Referring to the fate of SpaceX’s first few rocket launches, Shivon Zilis, Neuralink’s director of special projects and the mother of two of Musk’s children, told Vance: ‘We can’t blow up the first three. That’s not an option here.’