Supplement Forms/Alternate Names

  • 2-Dimethylaminoethanol
  • Deanol


Principal Proposed Uses

Other 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.

Therapeutic Dosages

Manufacturers' recommended dosages and those used in clinical studies vary between 400 and 1,800 mg daily.

Therapeutic Uses

Preliminary evidence suggests that DMAE may be helpful for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ( ADHD ). 1,2 More widely marketed today as a memory and mood enhancer, DMAE is said to improve intellectual functioning; however, there are no clinical studies that support its use for these purposes. The basis for such claims probably stems from its purported ability to increase levels of a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine . Drugs and supplements called cholinergics that increase acetylcholine have been used to treat Alzheimer's disease , tardive dyskinesia , and Huntington's chorea. Because DMAE was believed to be a cholinergic, it has been tried for all of these disorders. However, well-designed double-blind, placebo-controlled studies have yielded almost entirely negative results. 3-9 In addition, there is some controversy over whether DMAE really increases acetylcholine at all. 10

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