Experts support Musk’s claim that Neuralink may possibly treat morbid obesity

KEY POINTS

  • Elon Musk claimed Neuralink can treat morbid obesity and other ‘brain damage’
  • Two experts think it’s possible in the future
  • Human trials have not yet started at Neuralink as it has not yet received FDA approval.

Scientists and neurotech experts have backed Elon Musk’s claims about the ability of his Neuralink brain chip to help treat morbid obesity. They reiterated that the chip has a long way to go, especially without proper scientific support.

In recent interviews with Business Insider, experts said it’s not impossible that Neuralink, a microchip in development intended for brain implantation to boost brain activity, could help treat various health conditions. First among believers is an expert in neural interfaces from Newcastle University, Professor Andrew Jackson, who said he didn’t think “it’s any more implausible than other claims about the potential of neurotechnology “.

Sadaf Farooqi, professor of metabolism and medicine at the University of Cambridge, also told Insider that while Musk’s concept is broad, it’s still achievable. Farooqi explained that experts have shown the link between the hypothalamus and some people with severe obesity. “If you could find a way to target that particular region and even those particular neurons that stimulate appetite, then in theory a drug or technology that would do that could improve the lives of patients,” he said.

The experts’ comments came after Tesla and SpaceX CEO Musk suggested in an April 14 interview. TED interview with Chris Andreson that Neuralink can treat various brain-related conditions such as “severe depression, morbid obesity, sleep, potentially schizophrenia, like, a lot of things that cause people great stress.” Musk, who also took over ownership of Twitter earlier this week, acknowledged that it would take “at least a decade to really fix the brain damage.”

This isn’t the first time Musk has made headlines talking about Neuralink. Last year, the tech billionaire said his brain chip company had placed a neural implant in a monkey to allow him to play video games. On Sunday, Musk tweeted that the company was “working to bridge the broken links between the brain and the body”, adding that “the neural links in the motor and sensory cortex linking the weak/broken links in the neck/spinal column to the links neurons in the spinal cord should theoretically be able to restore full body functionality.”

Human clinical trials have not yet started for Neuralink, as stated on the company’s official website. On the other hand, the company published at the beginning of the year an offer to recruit a “director of clinical trials” for its human trials. At that time, Neuralink said the clinical trial director would work closely with innovative engineers and physicians, as well as the company’s “early clinical trial participants.”

Neuralink’s human trials have yet to gain approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

This video capture taken from the Neuralink live stream online shows Elon Musk holding the Neuralink disc implant during the presentation on August 28, 2020 Photo: Neuralink/-

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