To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Neuralink patient says estimated 85% of implant wires are already detached

Neuralink patient says estimated 85% of implant wires are already detached

This doesn't sound ideal for the brain implant company.

Billionaire Elon Musk has made headlines this year about various things, but for much of the year so far a silver lining has been offered up by Neuralink.

The Musk-founded company works on human brain interfaces, implants that basically let you control computers and other devices using your mind alone, and after years of testing, it had its first human trial earlier this year.

Despite concern from observers, things seemed to go well in the early stages, too, with the patient in question suddenly finding himself able to play chess, video games and more as a result of the implant.

Now, though, that volunteer patient, Noland Arbaugh, has told the Wall Street Journal earlier this week that around 85% of the implant threads connecting it to his brain have come loose.

SOPA Images / Contributor / Getty
SOPA Images / Contributor / Getty

Arbaugh said that his brain has apparently shifted around in his skull by around three times the measure that Neuralink was expecting or hoping for.

This isn't quite as radically bad as it sounds, since our brains do naturally shift around in our skulls a little during normal life.

The Neuralink implant is around the size of a coin, and it has 64 microscopic threads that connect it to the motor cortex in a human brain, with each thread containing 16 electrodes that can translate ideas into actions.

This means that of the 1024 electrodes in Arbaugh's implant, around 870 of them are no longer working.

But Arbaugh is still upbeat, and told The New York Times: “I just want to bring everyone along this journey with me. I want to show everyone how amazing this is. And it’s just been so rewarding. So I’m really excited to keep going.”

He previously explained he had been paralysed below the shoulders after a diving accident several years ago, and he underwent surgery to have the Neuralink chip implanted in January.

Another small positive has been offered up by the fact that in the early days of the implant, Neuralink was apparently able to successfully implement an over-the-air update for its software, solving some small technical issues and hitches he'd been having.

Anadolu / Contributor / Getty
Anadolu / Contributor / Getty

That's far from nothing since it means that implants down the line can be updated in the same manner if they run into issues.

All of this still serves to underline what might have been missed during Arbaugh's first celebratory set of updates about his abilities - this is just the first human trial for Neuralink, and we're still a long way off the implant being available to everyone who wants or needs it.

There will doubtless be more patients and tests run in the years to come as the implant is refined and improved, with thousands of people reportedly already having contacted the company to volunteer.

Featured Image Credit: NewsNation/ Neuralink