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DMAE, (a.k.a. dimethylaminoethanol or Deanol), a metabolite of choline, is produced in the human brain and thought to help increase levels of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. DMAE can be found in fish products such as anchovies and sardines.
Initial testing in the 1970's showed DMAE to be effective in helping to treat ADHD in children. After 10 weeks the subjects showed noticeable improvement in concentration and cognitive performance. The research on DMAE as a treatment for Alzheimer's disease is mixed, however. One key hallmark of the disease is the gradual degeneration of cells that produce acetylcholine, and there is still disagreement as to whether DMAE has a significant impact on raising brain levels of the neurotransmitter. Some have experienced improvement in normal age-related memory lapses and greater alertness while using DMAE. More research is needed.
Recommended dosage for ADHD and memory support: 100-300mg, twice daily. DMAE is available in tablet, liquid and capsule forms, and should be taken with food. It may take several weeks for DMAE to become effective; some individuals may not be affected at all by the drug.
Headaches, insomnia, gastrointestinal distress, and very vivid dreams are common. Some individuals find DMAE to be over-stimulating, while others may experience drowsiness and impaired cognitive function. Know how the drug affects you before operating heavy machinery. Pregnant women and nursing mothers, those with seizure disorders, and those with bipolar disorder should not use DMAE. Individuals with high blood levels of homocysteine (associated with cardiovascular disease), kidney disease or liver disease should consult a physician before using the supplement.