Elon Musk's Neuralink patient demonstrates how brain chip works

(NewsNation) — Noland Arbaugh, Elon Musk’s first Neuralink patient, says there aren’t words “to describe how amazing” the technology is.

Arbaugh, 29, demonstrated how his brain chip implant works in an interview with NewsNation host Chris Cuomo — his first live TV interview.

The chip allows Arbaugh, who is paralyzed from the shoulders down, to move a computer mouse pointer on a screen just by imagining and thinking about it moving.

Though there were some problems reported with his transplant, Arbaugh has been able to communicate with friends, family and loved ones and even read books and play games.

“It doesn’t really take much effort at all,” Arbaugh said Tuesday on “CUOMO.”

A viewer praised Musk and his Neuralink technology in a call with Arbaugh, saying, “He’s a gift from God.”

Neuralink gets FDA approval to implant chip into second patient

Elon Musk’s human tech startup Neuralink has received the green light from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to implant a brain chip into a second patient after it proposed to fix a problem that occurred with Arbaugh.

Earlier this month, Neuralink reported that the first chip implanted into a human’s brain malfunctioned after several threads recording neural activity retracted from the brain. The threads retracted in the weeks following the surgery in late January that placed the Neuralink hardware in Arbaugh’s brain, the company said.

Neuralink plans to fix the problem by implanting some of the device’s ultra-thin wires deeper into the patient’s brain, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing a person familiar with the company and a document it had viewed.

The company plans to implant its device into the second patient in June and a total of 10 people this year, the report said, adding that more than 1,000 quadriplegics had signed up for its patient registry.

Who is the ideal Neuralink brain chip candidate?

Dr. Tom Pitts, a board-certified neurologist, said Tuesday on “NewsNation Live” that the best candidates are those who are “cognitively sound” since they need to perform their tasks correctly.

He advises against considering quadriplegics with Alzheimer’s or brain cancer for this procedure.

“Somebody with Alzheimer’s who is paralyzed may not be able to learn, the brain may be atrophying. You don’t want to give it to somebody who has a concomitant brain condition that can confound your study,” Pitts said.

He added: “If I have, let’s say brain cancer, and you do this, am I not performing well, or is the lead failing because of the cancer?”

NewsNation’s Kelsey Kernstine and Reuters contributed to this story.

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