Neuralink Calls Off Second Human Patient Procedure Due to Medical Issue – PCMag

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Neuralink had planned to surgically implant one of its brain chips in a second human patient last month, but the surgery was called off due to a medical issue with the patient. The Elon Musk-founded company is now looking for a different candidate to receive its brain chip as its human trials continue.

Assuming Neuralink is able to find another eligible person, the company plans to conduct the surgery next month at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, Arizona, Bloomberg reports, citing Barrow CEO Michael Lawton. Barrow is the primary location for Neuralink’s human trial implant procedures.

“Selecting the right patient for a trial like this is important,” Lawton told the outlet. “Everybody involved, clinically and surgically, wants to get it right.”

The former second patient who did not get the implant has Lou Gehrig’s disease or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), according to the report. The nervous system disease causes muscle weakness and can affect a person’s ability to physically function. ALS is a fatal disease, with 20% of those impacted living for five years after their diagnosis and just 5% surviving 20 years or more after their diagnosis, according to the ALS Association.

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Back in May, Musk said the brain implant company was looking for its second patient. Neuralink is specifically looking for individuals who do not currently have the physical use of their limbs.

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Noland Arbaugh, Neuralink’s first human patient, has quadriplegia. Neuralink publicized its search for its first human patient back in September. By January, Arbaugh had received the Neuralink brain implant. Within months, Arbaugh shared that he’s now able to play video games using only his mind and can beat his friends in the games, too.

“It’s going to maybe cure paralysis,” Arbaugh said in a recent interview. “It’s going to maybe cure blindness and other disabilities that have been plaguing people since the beginning of time. So like, why wouldn’t we push forward into this?”

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