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Muhammad Ali RIP

Dear Reader,

It has come to my attention that the boxing champion has left this mortal existence. My father was never a great enthusiast of boxing but I recall the time he told me of how during one boxing match a man (Terrell) mocked him by refusing to call him by the name Muhammad Ali. What happened was each time Ernie got Ali’s name wrong he was hit again.

Sadly both Muhammad Ali and Ernie Terrell in later life had problems with their brains, it can be reasoned that this was due to too many blows to the head. I know that other boxers such as Johnny Owen, James Murray, Steve Watt,  Michael Watson and others have come to serious harm as a result of boxing.

I am well aware that some people want boxing to be banned, these include the BMA which wants to ban boxing together with cage fighting. I would rather not join in the “ban boxing or support boxing” debate today out of respect for Muhammad Ali and his family. I also feel that I do not have the energy to join in a debate about the rights and wrongs of boxing

I know that for many years that Muhammad Ali suffered from a condition like Parkinson’s disease. It is more common than one might think, my father in law, Micheal J. Fox and Adolf Hitler. Given the choice I would have much rather associated with Ali Mr Fox, and my father in law rather than the other person I named.

The key thing about Parkinson’s disease is that the part of the brain which forms dopamine fails to produce as much as is needed. Many treatments for Parkinson’s are attempts to increase the dopamine level in the brain. Dopamine is a very simple compound which is rather similar in structure to amphetamine (speed) and Serotonin (another neurotransmitter).

neurochem

It is important to note that many of the substances which are active on the brain as drugs are similar to the neurotransmitters, this is why I showed the structure of amphetamine alongside dopamine.

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