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Lease on Love
Science says romance lasts one year!

According to an article on the BBC website, researchers at Italy's University of Pavia recently found that a brain chemical is likely to be responsible for the first flush of love. Their study revealed that raised levels of a protein were "linked to feelings of euphoria and dependence experienced at the start of a relationship." The study also showed that those chemicals return to normal levels after about a year.

The scientists looked at 58 people who had recently started a relationship and compared the protein levels in 58 other people in long-term relationships, as well as 58 single people.

Participants who had just started a relationship showed significantly increased levels of a protein called nerve growth factors (NGF), which causes tell-tale signs such as sweaty palms and the butterflies.

Of the 39 people who were still in the same new relationship after a year, the levels of NGF had been reduced to normal levels.

Report co-author Piergluigi Politi told the Psychoneuroendocrinology Journal that the findings did not mean people were no longer in love, just that it was not such an acute love.

"The love became more stable. Romantic love seemed to have ended."

Dr. Lance Workman, head of psychology at Bath Spa University, added: "Research has suggested that romantic love fades after a few years and becomes companionate love… And it seems certain biological factors play a role."
Viva la difference!


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