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Wednesday, August 5, 1998 Published at 21:58 GMT 22:58 UK


Health: Latest News

Ali breaks off treatment

Muhammad Ali - 'The greatest' - was undisputed champion

Muhammad Ali has stopped an experimental treatment for his Parkinson's disease, saying he felt used by the Florida clinic where he went for help.

The former heavyweight world champion has suffered from the disease, which slows his reflexes and makes it difficult for him to talk, for more than a decade.

But last week it was announced that he was going to try a new treatment.

Retired dentist and oral surgeon Jerry Jacobson was reported to have started treatment on the former boxer last week at his Boca Raton clinic.

Ali received five days of treatment before quitting.

In a statement Ali says Jacobson did not respect his privacy: "I feel I was used to promote their clinic."

When he had begun the treatment Ali had said: "I'm going to make a comeback. That's my dream."

Jacobson claimed to have invented a system where magnets were used to regenerate "homeotic genes" that shut down after childhood.

The genes would then regenerate the patient's brain cells and cause them to produce dopamine. Parkinson's disease is caused by a lack of dopamine.

Jacobson said he was both hurt and saddened by Ali's reaction: "I feel really awful ... it's just that the media came on too strong and I guess he felt swamped and (Ali's wife) Lonnie felt set up, which was not the case."

"This had nothing to do with business," Jacobson said. "All I wanted from Ali was two weeks to show the efficacy of this treatment."

The treatment is being studied by the US Food and Drug Administration.

Ali has returned to his home in Berrien Springs, Michigan.



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