Currently, there is no miracle cure to overcome tinnitus. Yet around 2027, people could be treated thanks to the Neuralink brain chip. Recently, Elon Musk responded positively to a question on Twitter about the possibility that the chip in question could provide such treatment.
Neuralink to save tinnitus victims?
Tinnitus is very disturbing noises such as hissing, buzzing and other crackling. These occur in one or both ears (or in the head) without an outside source having emitted them. They result in fact from a auditory nervous system dysfunction. In France, no less than one person in four would be a victim. Some tinnitus is also temporary where others are unfortunately very long term.
Among the treatments, we find the use of vasodilators, the effectiveness of which is poorly established. Antiepileptics, antidepressants and other anxiolytics can also be proposed, although they are not part of the official treatments. Finally, in 2020, Irish researchers explained that they had developed a device whose objective is to alter the activity of auditory neurons responsible for tinnitus.
Research continues in this area, however, and Elon Musk has issued a statement on the subject. in a tweet published on April 24, 2022. The Neuralink company, who works on the brain-machine interface and promises to cure many diseases, could indeed bring a new treatment.
Quite possible, according to Elon Musk
A user simply asked Elon Musk whether or not Neurolink’s neural implant can treat tinnitus. In response, the person concerned promised that it would be possible in less than five years. He also explained that currently the implant in question is a generalized reading and writing device with approximately 1,000 electrodes. However, treating tinnitus will certainly require less than a thousand electrodes.
Definitely. Might be less than 5 years away, as current version Neuralinks are semi-generalized neural read/write devices with ~1000 electrodes and tinnitus probably needs <<1000.
Future gen Neuralinks will increase electrode count by many orders of magnitude.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 24, 2022
However, Elon Musk and Neuralink will first have to obtain approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States. This step is essential for a treatment to be authorized in the country. The company wishes to treat many pathologies such as Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease and improve human cognitive abilities. However, Neuralink’s reputation suffered rather in 2022, after a case. An animal rights group has indeed brought to light the loss of a third of the guinea pig monkeys used by the company for its experiments in excruciating suffering.