Neuralink competitor begins human trials for brain implant

Synchron, a company developing brain implants, has begun clinical trials in humans ahead of Elon Musk’s Neuralink.

Four things to know:

1. Synchron is developing an implant called Stentrode; it is similar to a Neuralink project. The device is implanted in the motor cortex of the brain and is designed to help patients complete tasks such as texting and emailing hands-free, according to a May 13 news release.

2. The first patient was enrolled in a study that will evaluate Stentrode in people with severe paralysis. The trial is being conducted under the first investigational device exemption awarded by the FDA.

3. Neuralink also aims to help patients with spinal cord injuries. The company’s implants have been tested in animals, and Mr. Musk said in December that he hopes to use the device in humans in 2022.

4. Neuralink is awaiting FDA approval. The implant would be used to help restore full-body functionality in patients with spinal cord injuries, Mr. Musk said.

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