TechNeuralink's first brain implant patient fully recovers, controls devices with thoughts

Neuralink's first brain implant patient fully recovers, controls devices with thoughts

Patient with an implanted wireless chip.
Patient with an implanted wireless chip.
Images source: © AKPA, X

7:58 AM EDT, March 21, 2024

It's been just a few weeks since Elon Musk announced the introduction of the first brain implant developed by Neuralink. A new video on the X platform showcases the impressive progress of the 29-year-old patient, who considers himself fortunate.

This surgery made history. At the end of January, Neuralink, a company founded by Elon Musk, implanted its first brain implant in a patient. Less than a month later, Musk confirmed the patient had fully recovered.

"Progress is good, and it seems that the patient has fully recovered, without any known side effects," Musk was quoted by Reuters Agency. "The patient can move the mouse across the screen by simply thinking," he added.

"I feel lucky"

The recently released video on the X platform confirms Musk's claims - the patient, 29-year-old Nolan Arwall, is in excellent condition. Arwall shared his story during a live broadcast alongside a Neuralink engineer.

Eight years ago, the young man faced a tragic diving accident that resulted in a spinal injury, leading to quadriplegia. Paralyzed from the arms down, his life was forever changed.

The implant has transformed the 29-year-old's life, enabling him to pursue his passions, learn Japanese and French, and even play chess online.

"It was hard accepting that I couldn't engage in my favorite activities or play my beloved games without my parents' help. Now, I'm thrilled to say I've spent nights awake playing Civilization 6. I can just lie in bed and play endlessly," Nolan expressed with joy.

"... In the beginning, I tried to 'move' my right hand in different directions, and soon everything felt intuitive. Imagining moving the cursor made it move - as if I had some sort of power over it. The experience was unbelievable. It's incredible to be part of this project. Every day brings something new, and words can't describe how amazing it is to be able to do this," Nolan explained.

Despite admitting that the technology isn't perfect, he passionately encourages others to participate in Neuralink's trials.

"I wanted to contribute to something potentially world-changing. The surgery was surprisingly straightforward. I was discharged the day after, with no cognitive impairments that I can attribute to the surgery. It's truly extraordinary, and I'm immensely grateful to everyone at Neuralink for their relentless effort in making this a reality", Nolan shared.

Neuralink aims to assist people with neurological disorders through innovative technology, focusing on developing implants that enable interaction with digital devices through thought.
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