Italian scientists have found that the chemical in the brain which makes us romantic disappears over a year. They say this explains why the happy, wonderful and confident feelings we experience at the start of a relationship do not last forever. Researchers from the University of Pavia discovered that levels of a chemical called Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) greatly increase when a person first falls in love. NGF levels come from the rush of adrenalin and love of life that occur when new love blossoms. The chemical fades over a year or so after people become more secure in a relationship.
Research leader Dr. Enzo Emanuele reported: “We have demonstrated for the first time that…levels of NGF are elevated among [people] in love, suggesting an important role for this molecule in the social chemistry of human beings.” His team analyzed 58 volunteers who had recently fallen in love. The researchers compared NGF levels in this group with those in people who were single or in steady relationships. They found increased levels of NGF in the new romantics. They also said NGF caused sweaty palms and butterflies in stomachs, and perhaps made young men buy red roses and candlelit dinners.