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Falling in Love Raises Levels of Nerve Growth Factor Falling in Love Raises Levels of Nerve Growth Factor Hot

Falling in Love Raises Levels of Nerve Growth Factor

Story: 

Falling in love raises levels of nerve growth factor, a protein important for maintaining the central nervous system.

Other Versions

Falling in love can raise levels of nerve growth factor for about a year, which helps to restore the nervous system and improves the memory.

Hoax or Fact:

Fact.

Analysis:

The messages suggest that falling in love raises the levels of nerve growth factor for about a year, and this helps in restoring the nervous system and improving memory. Yes, it is a fact.

Studies

In a complex sentiment like love, diverse biochemical mechanisms can be involved in the mood changes it brings in the initial stage of a romance. To understand if the early romantic phase of a loving relationship is associated with changes in circulating levels of neurotrophins, scientists at the University of Pavia in Italy, conducted a study in the year 2005. Neurotrophins are family of proteins in the bloodstreams that are important for the maintenance, growth & survival of certain nerve cells. While 'nerve growth factor' refers to a single factor, 'nerve growth factors' refer to a family of factors also known as neurotrophins. Increase in neurotrophins contributes in restoring the nervous system and improving memory.

The scientists studied 58 people who had recently started a love relationship and compared the protein levels of neurotrophins in the same number of people in long-term relationships and that in people who were single. They observed that the nerve growth factor (NGF) was significantly higher in the subjects in love than either of the subjects in a long-lasting relationship or with no relationship. They also observed a significant positive correlation between the levels of NGF and the intensity of romantic love. Moreover, in 39 subjects in love who maintained the same relationship after 12-24 months but were no longer in the same mental state they referred during the initial evaluation, the plasma NGF levels decreased and reduced to normal levels.

Findings

From these findings, the scientists suggested that some behavioral and/or psychological features associated with falling in love could be related to the raised nerve growth factor levels in the human bloodstream. A co-author of the report, Piergluigi Politi said that the findings did not mean that the people were no longer in love after the year period. It's just that it was not such an "acute love," it became more stable, and the romantic love seemed to have ended. Dr. Lance Workman, head of psychology at Bath Spa University, said that the research has suggested romantic love fades after few years and becomes companionate love, and that certain biological factors seem to play a role.

Back in 2000, a study at University College London concluded that when people fall in love, at least two areas of the brain become more active -- foci in the media insula (associated with instinct) and part of the anterior cingulate cortex (associated with euphoria feelings).

Falling in love is a beautiful feeling of mutual companionship that gives innate strength and happiness, which is certain to have positive healing effect on brain and body as a whole.

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References:

Raised plasma nerve growth factor levels associated with early-stage romantic love
Romantic love 'lasts just a year'
Biological basis of love: Brain imaging

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Falling in Love Raises Levels of Nerve Growth Factor

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