In an animal study, scientists have pinpointed a key brain chemical involved in dealing with the sudden loss or long-term separation of a partner.
Other studies have linked losing a partner to increased risk of depression and disease but Bosch and colleagues wanted to find a biological explanation for why this might be so.
Blocking chemical eases bereavement
Further tests demonstrated that a brain chemical known as "corticotropin releasing factor", a neurotransmitter involved in the stress response, was elevated in all the voles which had bonded with a partner.
Dealing with grief