As a rollover car accident victim and car accident lawyer for more than a decade, I have a special interest in this technology’s success. One of the things that influenced me as a child to help spine injury victims was the sci-fi of robot suits and bionics helping men walk again. As a child, I watched the first clinical trial, the Six Million Dollar Man (Bionic Man). Colonel Steve Austin was rebuilt during an emergency surgical procedure using reliable bionic implants to make himself “better, stronger, faster.”
He could even run faster than 60 mph and see far away with his bionic eye they used to surgically replace his missing eye from his NASA test pilot accident. I even had the action figure with the bionic eye and karate chop arm as a kid. Having represented many quadriplegia victims with brain injuries in motorcycle accidents, this is still one of the topics near and dear to my heart.
Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s brain-chip startup, called Neuralink, aims to change the lives of car accident victims and others. Among the many grand ambitions of Elon Musk, Neuralink has been under painstaking development for years. The company said its tech, consisting of surgically implanted brain chip devices, was tested in animals in 2020 and 2021 and is now ready for human trials.
How The Brain Implant Works
Neuralink works by way of electrode threads to detect electrical signals within neural networks and decoding them. Decoding is done using four microchips within the Link body. The Link Body will embed just outside the brain and seat flush with the skull. The brain data gets sent wirelessly to a computer with a range up to 10 meters distance. The brain implant creates a direct link between the patient’s mind and the machine that reads the data. It’s healing implications to treat conditions like spinal injuries and treating conditions like obesity, autism, depression, and schizophrenia could change the world overnight.
Musk and the Biden Admin have been battling over the overt democrat party and FBI orchestrated censorship of social media accounts, prompting many to question whether the administrative state has been slow walking approval. After all, Elon Musk expected to receive approval to implant this device in only 10 patients years ago. But then, the company found itself negotiating a lower number of implant patients. According to current and former employees the FDA raised safety concerns. But whatever the true reasons for the delays in Musk’s Neuralink, its first human applications would probably help spinal cord injury patients based on the research so far.
How Does The Robot Perform Surgery?
The robot is trained to surgically implant a brain-computer interface (BCI) implant in a region of the brain that controls the intention to move, Neuralink said, adding that its initial goal is to enable people to control a computer cursor or keyboard using their thoughts alone.
First Human Trial Green Lighted Tuesday, September 18
Musk’s Neuralink said this week that it had finally received approval from an independent review board to take studies further. As a result, Neuralink is set to finally depart from animal testing and begin recruitment for the first human trials of its experimental brain implant for paralysis patients. Musk said some people with a cervical spinal cord injury or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) may qualify for the human clinical trial. (six-year study.)
Caveat: If if the BCI device proves safe for human use, itcould still be more than ten years out to secure commercial licensing. The only chance for most paralysis patients is to get on the list for experimental testing.
Elon Musk’s Neural Link to Help Crash Spine Injury Victims By….
The company said, if successful, Neuralink would allow amputees to control prosthesis limbs and improve motor skills. We have found no evidence it will repair existing damage, however. Still, Neural Link will revolutionize the way we treat diseases like Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, and in particular, spinal cord trauma. This alone will make Elon Musk a medical Messiah of sorts.
People with paralysis due to cervical spinal cord injury or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis may qualify for the first human trial. However, it did not reveal how many participants the FDA ultimately approved. Once we find out how many patients will be involved, we will provide the human use numbers to be enrolled in the trial. To gain commercial use clearance, the Food and Drug Administration normally about six years to after they start human trial testing.
The first study will rely on a specially programmed robot instead of a human doctor, to facilitate speedy surgical insertions.
Note: This has many physicians we have spoken with up in arms, by the way.
Several spine surgeons, including:
- Kornelis Poelstra, MD, PhD. (Nevada Spine Clinic, Las Vegas)
- Brian Gantwerker, MD. (Craniospinal Center, Los Angeles)
- Brian Gantwerker, MD. (Craniospinal Center of Los Angeles)
- Issada Thongtrangan, MD. (Microspine, Scottsdale, Ariz.)
These doctors all had varying opinions about the technology and Mr. Musk getting into MedTech in general. The grand agreement seems to be that this will be very helpful once it is perfected.
How Else Can Neuralink Help with Car Crash Paralysis?
This medtech is designed to help paralyzed individuals regain communication abilities by controlling external devices using signals from the brain. When visionaries like Elon Musk bring disruptive technology, innovative ideas, and the necessary resources to the table, it can greatly benefit the field and also shake the boat with bureaucrats and their donors.
What Do Car Accident Attorneys Say?
As a car accident lawyer, my position is that car accidents can cause various types of spine injuries based on the severity, suddeness and force of impact. The severity and type of a spine injury will typically vary based on many factors. For example, the speed of the collision, the point of the impact, and whether occupants wore wearing seat belts remains an important consideration.
Here are some common ways car accidents can damage spines:
- Whiplash: Whiplash is a soft tissue injury common in rear-end collisions. It’s modailty is the head suddenly jerking backward and then forward. This can cause the neck to hyperextend and hyperflex, straining or damaging the muscles, ligaments, and discs in the cervical spine (neck).
- Herniated or Bulging Discs: The force of a car accident can compress the spine, leading to herniated or bulging discs. When discs between the vertebrae rupture or protrude, they put pressure on spinal nerves, causing pain, numbness, and weakness.
- Fractured Vertebrae: High-impact auto accidents can cause fractured or broken vertebrae (bones that make up the spine.) These can be unstable fractures that require surgical intervention to stabilize the spine.
- Spinal Cord Injuries: The most severe spine injuries in vehicular accidents damage the spinal cord itself, leading to partial or complete paralysis. Severity depends on the location and extent of the damage and can be permanent and life-altering.
- Compression Injuries: The spine can become compressed during a car accident, leading to compression fractures. These fractures can cause pain and spine deformity, especially in the thoracic (upper/mid-back) region.
- Nerve Damage: Trauma to the spine can damage or pinch spinal nerves, resulting in nerve pain, tingling, or weakness in the arms, legs, or other parts of the body.
- Dislocations: Car and motorcycle accidents in particular, can force vertebrae out of their normal positions, causing spinal dislocations. These dislocations may require surgical realignment.
If you believe you’ve sustained a spine injury from a motoring accident it makes sense to contact us for a free consultation to ensure you receive proper consideration for your legal claims.
What is the negative effect of Neuralink?
Neuralink enables remote communication through brain activity for paralyzed individuals and offers potential cognitive enhancements. However, fears of mind control, brain hacking, and dystopian sci-fi scenarios loom large. Incorrect neuropathic link placement may increase the chance of dementia and may even result in brain infections or a death. Neuralink may also be misused by people who want control over someone’s information.
Neuralink involves implanting an 8mm N1 chipset with tiny wires and electrodes in the skull, inserted by a robot. These wires are as thin as neurons, measuring 100 micrometers, is this safe and humane?
Ethical dilemmas arise: Who gets access, and how is it determined? Can it be hacked, and who’s responsible for harm? Is this endeavor worthwhile? While I admire the pioneer behind Neuralink, human use remains distant. We must grasp the risks, benefits, and complications. I prefer to see this tech applied to treating brain ailments rather than connecting with devices.
This project is intriguing. Progress, innovation, and inevitable failures will provide answers. Despite setbacks, Musk’s determination, as seen in Tesla and SpaceX, promises continued excitement and resilience. Now the question, is whether a person with spine injuries can get in on the human clinical trial.
Are experimental treatments covered in personal injury cases?
The coverage of experimental treatments in personal injury cases varies. Several factors will be looked at, including the injury, the specific treatment, insurance policies, legal precedents, and jurisdictional laws. As a personal injury attorney, getting the defendant to pay for an experimental procedure is never guaranteed. And here, we don’t even know if Musk is doing this for free or charge, or not. We will reach out to his team, but doubt they would call back a lawyer who wrote an article.
Here are some key points to consider:
- Standard of Care: In personal injury cases, the standard of care requires treatments and medical interventions to be recognized as generally accepted within the medical community. If not, experimental or investigational treatments won’t meet this standard.
- Insurance Coverage: Whether experimental treatments are covered often revolves around the insurance policy in question. Health insurance policies may exclude or limit experimental medical treatments. But some insurance policies or state laws may require experimental treatment coverage.
- Informed Consent: The injured party must provide informed consent, which means they understand the experimental nature of the treatment, potential risks, and alternatives, and they have voluntarily agreed to proceed. Elder and minors may not benefit.
- Legal Precedents: Court decisions can decide if experimental treatments are covered too. This may depend on many factors, including availability of conventional treatments, severity of injury, and whether treatment is medically, reasonable and necessary.
- Jurisdictional Laws: Personal injury laws and insurance coverage can vary by jurisdiction. Some states or countries may have specific regulations about experimental treatments too.
- Expert Opinions: Medical experts and testimony from healthcare professionals can play a crucial role in determining medical necessity of experimental treatments.
Car Accident Cervical Spinal Cord Injury May See Advances After the Human Trial
It’s not clear how long the overall approval process will take, as Neuralink is still recruiting participants for clinical trials. The goal of restoring both physical and cognitive functionality with Neuralink, offering a better quality of life and the potential for regained independence to those with serious neurological conditions, is truly admirable.
Early tests with animals have shown promise, but applying these findings to humans is a complex task, similar to previous attempts to treat spinal cord injuries. The use of robotics, precision, and accuracy will be crucial in this endeavor. This research should be thoroughly explored, supported, and subject to peer review, allowing us all to contribute and maintain a critical but celebratory outlook as we approach the possibility of a genuine Brain Machine Interface becoming a reality. The technology could also backfire and hurt people. And yes, there is a chance you could get in on the human trial.
If you are involved in a personal injury case and are considering or pursuing experimental treatments, consult with legal and medical professionals. If you want to learn more about car accidents and experimental surgeries, contact Michael Ehline. We will happily provide guidance based on your specific circumstances and local laws. He can be contacted at (213) 596-9642.