Medicine: Ali Fights a New Round

A brain disorder focuses attention on the dangers of boxing

He could "float like a butterfly, sting like a bee." The young Muhammad Ali dazzled all who saw him perform in the ring, where his dancer's footwork and lightning-fast combinations enabled him to win the world heavyweight championship three times. And out of the ring, his nonstop chatter, his doggerel verse and his insistence that he was "the greatest" won him worldwide affection.

But the Ali who checked into the Neurological Institute at New York City's Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center last week evoked a much different emotion. For at least two years, journalists and...

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