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The death of Dr. Fernando Pacheco brings back the memory of Mr. Ali, alias Cassius Clay, the greatest sportsperson of the century.
It also stands as a lesson that personal physicians play a vital role in the lives of great sports personalities. The person with best physical health ended up having Parkinson's a disease related to dopamine deficiency caused by deficiency of dopamine decarboxylase in substantia nigra. Paralysis agitans is the other name of the disease, which affects quite a sizeable population in the US in adults in their 6th decade. They say that it is a multifatorial disease with environmental and genetic factors. As a movement disorder it is yet to be proves that a particular factor or a specific therapy is possible to entirely cure the disorder.
It also shows how high impact sports affect the health of the sports person, and how this requires the help of specialized sports physicians. The physician-patient relationship that is so vital in some of these disorders is ignored by most great sportspersons as fame and money push them sometimes to ignore the adivce given by their personal physician.
The demise of Dr. Pacheco reaffirms the role of sports as well as personal physicians in the lives of such eminent figures in the sports arena.