July 20, 2019   12:18am
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A “Love Drug” to keep that marital spark?

Can you maintain that marital spark for years? Can love be traced to the brain? Some scientists think so …

Here are some highlights from The Wall Street Journal article*, “Keeping Love Alive”:

“Researchers are using laboratory science to investigate [those]who live fairy-tale romances. The studies could help reveal the workings of lifelong passion and perhaps one day lead to a restorative … [neuroscientists] are looking for answers in the brain, using magnetic imaging and other modern tools to try to map love’s pathways.”

“Psychologists studying relationships confirm the steady decline of romantic love. Each year … the average couple loses a little spark.” Yet there are some couples who manage to keep their romantic love alive for decades. How or why does this happen?

“Over the years there have been numerous studies that have seemed to establish that there’s a link between romantic love and the so-called reward-seeking circuitry, which is thought to be linked to such deep motivations as thirst or drug addition. Then, “about 15 years ago, Arthur Aron, a social psychologist at Stony Brook University, became curious about couples outside the norm … he was drawn to points way off the curve — people who claimed they’d been madly in love for years … no published studies focused on people in long-term relationships.” His studies along with those of Dr. Sue Carter’s, a neuroendocrinologist at the University of Illinois at Chicago, have established a link to a so-called love hormone that helps bind mates.

There’s much work ahead, so for now a “love drug” may be only a possible but distant dream.

*The Wall Street Journal, “Keeping Love Alive”, by Sam Schechner, Friday, February 8, 2008, page W1

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