Neuralink Clinical Trial: Eligibility, Purpose Of The Study, Compensation, How To Sign Up And More

Here's all you need to know about the PRIME Study (short for Precise Robotically Implanted Brain-Computer Interface).

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Image Source: X/@neuralink</p></div>
Image Source: X/@neuralink

Neuralink Corp., the brain implant startup led by billionaire Elon Musk has started recruiting patients for a clinical trial.

In a blog post, the company said that it has received approval from the reviewing independent institutional review board and its first hospital site to begin recruitment for the first-in-human clinical trial.

The PRIME Study (short for Precise Robotically Implanted Brain-Computer Interface) – a groundbreaking investigational medical device trial for our fully-implantable, wireless brain-computer interface (BCI) – aims to evaluate the safety of our implant (N1) and surgical robot (R1) and assess the initial functionality of our BCI for enabling people with paralysis to control external devices with their thoughts, the company said.

During the study, the R1 Robot will be used to surgically place the N1 Implant’s ultra-fine and flexible threads in a region of the brain that controls movement intention.

Once in place, the N1 Implant is cosmetically invisible and is intended to record and transmit brain signals wirelessly to an app that decodes movement intention, Neuralink said.

The initial goal of our BCI is to grant people the ability to control a computer cursor or keyboard using their thoughts alone, the company said.

Neuralink said that the PRIME Study is being conducted under the investigational device exemption (IDE) awarded by the FDA in May 2023 and represents an important step in our mission to create a generalized brain interface to restore autonomy to those with unmet medical needs.

Those who have quadriplegia due to cervical spinal cord injury or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) may qualify. 

Neuralink Clinical Trial: Compensation

The company will compensate patients for study-related costs (such as travel expenses to and from the study site).

Neuralink Clinical Trial: Eligibility

Neuralink is looking for individuals who:

  • Have quadriplegia (limited function in all 4 limbs) due to spinal cord injury or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and are at least 1-year post-injury (without improvement)

  • Are at least 22 years old

  • Have a consistent and reliable caregiver

The following individuals are not eligible:

  • Individuals those who have an active implanted device (pacemaker, deep brain stimulator (DBS), etc.)

  • Individuals who have a history of seizures

  • Individuals who require MRIs for an ongoing medical condition

  • Indivisuals who are receiving transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) treatment

Neuralink Clinical Trial: Time Duration

The study will take approximately 6 years to complete. During the study, patients will have regular follow-ups with Neuralink's team of experts to monitor their progress and ensure the Neuralink BCI continues to work as intended.

For more details about the Neuralink clinical trail, click here.

According to a Bloomberg report, the announcement marks a highly anticipated moment for the startup, which has created a wave of interest in the field of brain implants.

While Musk has discussed far-out targets for Neuralink — such as helping people learn languages or communicating thoughts mentally — he has also consistently said that its first project would be to help ameliorate brain injuries, the report said.