Principal Proposed Uses
DMAE (2-dimethylaminoethanol) is a chemical that has been used to treat a number of conditions affecting the brain and central nervous system. Like other such treatments, it is thought to work by increasing production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, although this has not been proven.
DMAE is sold in pharmacies and healthfood stores, as well as on the Internet, as a nutritional supplement.
Manufacturers' recommended dosages and those used in clinical studies vary between 400 and 1,800 mg daily.
What Is the Scientific Evidence for DMAE?
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Most people over the age of 40 experience some memory loss, but Alzheimer's disease is much more serious, leading to severe mental deterioration (dementia) in the elderly. Microscopic examination shows that in the areas of the brain involved in higher thought processes, nerve cells have died and disappeared, particularly cells that release the chemical acetylcholine. Drugs such as tacrine and danazol, and supplements such as huperzine A , are used for Alzheimer's based on their ability to increase acetylcholine levels. Because DMAE is also thought to increase acetylcholine, trials have been performed to test its effectiveness for the same purpose. However, there is no real evidence as yet that it works.
Tardive dyskinesia (TD) is a potentially permanent side effect of drugs used to control schizophrenia . This late-developing (tardy, or tardive) complication consists of annoying, uncontrollable movements (dyskinesias), particularly in the face.
Huntington's chorea is a genetically inherited disease that results in personality changes and, somewhat similarly to TD, uncontrolled spastic movements. It doesn't usually become symptomatic until a person's age reaches the late thirties or older, although about 10% of people with Huntington's will begin to show signs of the disorder in childhood or adolescence.
Maximum safe dosages for young children, pregnant or nursing women, or people with severe liver or kidney disease have not been established.
- Reviewer: EBSCO CAM Review Board
- Review Date: 12/2015 -
- Update Date: 12/15/2015 -