Terry Wahls, MD, and her team were recently the recipient of a $2M gift from Dr. Howard Urnovitz to support the Wahls Therapeutic Lifestyle fund. This money will go towards Wahls’s current study, Longitudinal study of Clinically Isolated Syndrome and Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis: Dietary and lifestyle changes without drugs versus standard of care. A key question in efforts to reduce symptoms and improve quality of life for multiple sclerosis (MS) patients is whether a therapeutic lifestyle (diet, stress reduction and exercise) is inferior to disease-modifying drug treatments in terms of reducing multiple sclerosis-related symptoms, improving function and quality of life, and reducing the number of acute inflammatory lesions and loss of brain volume. This study will prospectively assess the changes in quality of life and clinical outcomes in two cohorts of patients who were recently diagnosed with clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) or relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) to begin answering that question.
Dr. Urnovitz received his medical training at the University of Michigan in Microbiology and Immunology in 1979 and is currently the co-founder of FBB Biomed, a company that monitors the dynamics of messaging in the blood to understand the status of one’s health. Additionally, he pioneered the field of genetic liquid biopsies for cancer through Chronix Biomedical, which he founded in 1996. Dr. Urnovitz has also been working to develop new tests and diagnostic methods for viral and neurological conditions. This is his first major gift commitment to the University of Iowa.