Neuralink human trial patient shares his progress

Neuralink human trial patient shares his progress

Elon Musk's Neuralink

Neuralink’s first human trial patient, Noland Arbaugh, shared his progress and experience during the PRIME Study, from playing Mario Kart on the Nintendo Switch to making live streams.

“Y’all are giving me too much; it’s like a luxury overload, I haven’t been able to do these things in 8 years, and now I don’t know where to even start allocating my attention,” Arbaugh said. 

Before participating in Neuralink’s PRIME Study, Arbaugh used a tablet stylus to interact with digital devices. A caregiver would place the stylus into Arbaugh’s mouth so he could use it, hence the name mouth stick. He would have to sit upright to operate a tablet using the mouth stick. The cons of using mouth sticks were that they led to discomfort, muscle fatigue, and pressure sores. The mouth stick also affected Arbaugh’s speech. 

“The biggest thing with comfort is that I can lie in my bed and use [the Link]. Any other assistive technology had to have someone else help or have me sit up. Sitting causes stress mentally and on my body, which would give me pressure sores or spasms. It lets me live on my own time, not needing to have someone adjust me, etc., throughout the day,” he said.



Neuralink recently announced that it passed the first 100 days since Arbaugh received the company brain implant. Its human trials called the PRIME Study, is the first step to restoring autonomy to people living with quadriplegia

According to Neuralink, nearly 180,000 Americans live with quadriplegia. The company aims to enable people with quadriplegia to control digital devices, increasing their independence while decreasing their isolation and, in some instances, financial challenges. 

The PRIME Study’s results seem positive so far for Arbaugh. Thanks to Neuralink’s implant, he has been able to reconnect with the world by controlling the cursor on his MacBook with his mind. He has also been able to play online computer games, browse the internet, live stream, and more.

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