Another patient will get Neuralink’s brain implant

The FDA has reportedly cleared the company for a second procedure.


Neuralink will be able to surgically implant its device into another patient’s brain. The Wall Street Journal reports that the company was approved to move forward with a second procedure months after Noland Arbaugh became the first person to receive the brain implant.

Elon Musk said last week that the company was “accepting applications for the second participant” in the trial. The company began recruiting potential participants for its first clinical trial last year with the goal of bringing the technology to people with ALS, spinal cord injuries or other conditions that cause quadriplegia.

Neuralink has also reportedly come up with a potential fix for an issue that caused Arbaugh’s implant to malfunction about a month after his surgery. The company said earlier this month that some of the implant’s threads “retracted from the brain” causing the issue. Arbaugh recently told Bloomberg that software updates have since restored many of those capabilities. Neuralink has shared clips of Arbaugh, who is paralyzed from the neck down, playing chess, controlling a music player app and performing other activities.

According to The Journal, Neuralink told the FDA that in a second procedure it would place the implant’s threads deeper into the patient’s brain to prevent them from moving as much as they did in Arbaugh’s case. The FDA is apparently on board with the changes. The company reportedly wants to complete the second surgery in June and has seen more than 1,000 people sign up for a chance to participate in the trial.