Neuralink first human subject feared removal of the device

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In a remarkable technological stride, Neuralink has inaugurated a new era in medical science with its first human brain implant, offering new hope for individuals with paralysis. Noland Arbaugh, who suffered a spinal cord injury leading to quadriplegia, was implanted with Neuralink’s device, known as “The Link,” in January 2024.

The coin-sized device, embedded beneath the skull, is equipped with 64 threads containing over 1,000 electrodes. These electrodes capture neuron activity in the brain, enabling control over digital devices through thought alone.

Despite initial challenges with the implant, including loose threads that compromised its functionality, Neuralink swiftly adapted the technology. Adjustments made to the recording algorithms and user interface not only salvaged the device but enhanced its performance, exceeding prior capabilities.

Arbaugh confessed that he feared the potential removal of the device that had given him new abilities and control he had not thought possible.

This personal account not only underscores the device’s potential to restore autonomy to those with severe physical limitations but also highlights the hurdles and triumphs of pioneering medical technology. As Arbaugh optimistically notes, the day when spinal injuries no longer confine individuals to a life of immobility may not be as distant as once thought, thanks to advancements like Neuralink’s brain implant.

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