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Accelerating Desire in Survivors (ADIS) Project

Raised toward our $7,000 Goal
8 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on October 22, at 11:59 PM PDT
Project Owners

Accelerating Desire in Survivors (ADIS) Project

The Issue

Women who survive cancer often have long-term effects from the disease or its treatments. Concerns about sexual wellness are very common, yet women often feel guilty for even asking about their sexual loss and doctors are surprisingly shy to ask.

The loss of sexual desire is not merely a lifestyle adjustment. It affects intimacy with partners who supported these women through treatment, may impede their ability to grow a family, and can contribute to the development of depression.

 (Bober & Varela, 2012)

Supporting this research will provide a voice to women who want intimacy back in their lives after defeating cancer.

Pro-sexual studies are rarely supported by federal government grants, and the technology expenses associated with this research are larger than philanthropic foundations typically support. Currently, no treatments have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat low sexual desire.

Our aim is to provide alternative treatment options for women cancer survivors who struggle with their sexual wellness.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation is a procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain. Brain stimulation has demonstrated long-term positive effects. Treatments may only be needed once, and it is very safe without observed long-term side effects. 

Project goal

This feasibility study will test a Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation treatment for women who have survived cancer. TMS is FDA approved - as well as covered by many insurance companies - for treatment-resistant depression.      


By reaching our fundraising goal, you empower us to help solve a need expressed by the community of cancer survivors, recruit volunteers, and document the experiences that women report with TMS. We need this information to establish a basis for future clinical trials.

The Protocol

  1. Women who report a loss of pleasure following cancer treatments are invited to attend three TMS treatments on the UCLA campus.
  2. Their brain's response to pleasure and their feelings of pleasure are recorded before and after these treatments.
  3. Patients will receive an assessment of brain wave response both before and after treatment to show that the TMS treatment successfully improved their sexual response.
  4. Data are recorded, analyzed and then published.

Our long-term goal is to develop TMS as an intervention for women who have lost pleasure in their lives long after they defeated their cancer.

Where does the money go?

The majority of the money is used to pay for the cost of the brain stimulation.

The machine itself is $350 per stimulation and requires a qualified technician and physician (for safety oversight) to be present, an additional cost. The women themselves are compensated for their time and effort in support of the feasibility study. 


This would be the very first demonstration of brain stimulation used to improve sexual response.

Importantly, our goal is to provide evidence in cancer survivors that would support a larger clinical trial in 2015. The treatment also may work for women with low sexual desire without a history of cancer.

Who we are

This is one of the few research teams in the world with the expertise to conduct such a project.


Nicole Prause (Ph.D.), is a scientist championing neuroscience research into women's sexual behaviors. She is an associate research scientist at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior and one of the few sexual psychophysiologists (psycho=psychology, physiology=body response) in the United States.


Marco Iacoboni (MD, Ph.D.), is fascinated by human connections and develops cutting edge transcranial brain stimulation with his team (TMS fellow Choi Deblieck, safety oversight physician Allan Wu) at the UCLA Brain Mapping Center. He headlined early research into mirror neurons and has written about them for the public: "Mirroring People: The New Science of How We Connect with Others."

How you can help

Please give!

Donations of any size and scope will make a dramatic impact on our ability to research this neglected area of women's health. 

Remember, each gift gets us closer to completing our research on improving the quality of life for female cancer survivors. 


In addition to your generous gift, we ask you to champion women's health by sharing our message on Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #ReclaimRecovery.


Thank you for your support!

Our way
of Thanking You



Thank you for your gift in support of our ADIS project!

1 of Unlimited Claimed
Estimated Delivery: September 2014


Research Assistant

Thank you for your support for women's sexual health and survivorship! We will give you a thank you shout out on Twitter/Facebook!

3 of Unlimited Claimed
Estimated Delivery: October 2014


ADIS Lab Technician

Thank you for your support! Every 7 gifts at this level funds a stimulation! In honor of your gift, we'd like to send you a cool e-card and thank you on Facebook/Twitter!

0 of Unlimited Claimed
Estimated Delivery: October 2014


Graduate Student

You fund ONE volunteer to participate in the study! To show our appreciation for your gift, we will feature you in a special thank you section on the SPAN ( website! You'll also receive our cool e-card and a shout out on Facebook/Twitter!

1 of Unlimited Claimed
Estimated Delivery: October 2014


Fire it up!

Your gift lets us fire up the TMS device for a session! You're a leader of our project, and to thank you we'd like to send you a personal thank you video, highlight your contribution on our website, in addition to sending you a cool e-card and thanking you on Facebook/Twitter!

0 of Unlimited Claimed
Estimated Delivery: November 2014


Principal Investigator

Your amazing! Your gift provides TWO complete tests on the TMS machine! To thank you, we invite you to meet the entire Brain Mapping Lab team! Plus all previous giving level gifts!

0 of Unlimited Claimed
Estimated Delivery: October 2014


Lab Director: Personal tour

You're a hero of this campaign! To thank you, Dr. Prause will give you a 30-minute tour of the Brain Mapping Center and SPAN lab at UCLA by an investigator (can be donated to someone in Los Angeles) + all gifts from previous levels!

0 of Unlimited Claimed
Estimated Delivery: October 2014
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