The Nootropic Effects of Dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE)

10/02/2015 Tags: all

Please note: This article is for informational purposes only. We do not encourage intake of DMAE or any nootropic drugs. Any undesirable effects from intake of DMAE are sole responsibility of the user.

Other names

Beta-dimethylaminoethyl alcohol



Dimethylethanolamine (DMEA)

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What is DMAE?

Dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE) is a compound known to help in improving brain health. It has been the focus if numerous study since the early 1970s for its various uses. Many researchers have identified DMAE as a potent treatment for numerous medical conditions such as tardive dyskinesia, Alzheimer’s disease, autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Anecdotal evidences and some studies have shown that it is also effective in improving athletic abilities, muscle reflexes, oxygen efficiency and physical energy. DMAE is also known as an anti-aging drug. It is said to prevent liver spots, extend one’s lifespan and inhibit skin aging (e.g. sagging of the skin). Though not commonly known, deanol has some nootropic properties. It has been used by noobs to increase their intelligence quotient, critical thinking skills, memory and mood.

Where can you get deanol?

Deanol is abundant on natural resources including fishes. Sardines and anchovies have high levels of DMAE. You can also supplement wioth synthetic DMAE.

How much DMAE should you take?

Studies report different dosages ranging from 400 mgs to 1800 mgs a day.

What does DMAE looks like?

Liquid DMAE appears transparent, almost yellowish in color. Its chemical structure is similar to that of a choline molecule minus one methyl group.

How does DMAE work?

Cholinergic mechanism

As a precursor of choline, DMAE increases acetylcholine levels in the brain. Acetylcholine is a brain chemical responsible for learning, memory formation and numerous other bodily functions. It also plays a critical role in stimulating activities of the autonomic nervous system (ANS), respiratory system, urinary tract system as well as muscle contraction.

Deanol is converted into choline (precursor of acethylcholine) in the brain. It works by inhibiting breakdown of choline in the peripheral tissues prompting free choline accumulation in the blood. After which, it enters the brain and stimulate the rest of other choline receptots. DMAE also helps in building and repairing cell membranes, specifically on the nervous system. Through stimulating brain neurons, working memory is also increased.

Cellular protein linking and free radical scavenging mechanisms  

Many experts believe that deanol exhibits free radical scavenging mechanism. Free radicals are naturally occurring substances in the brain that works as a mediator of degeneration or death of neurons. These substances, although naturally present in the brain and other parts of the body, can cause neurodegenerative diseases if in excessive amounts.

DMAE will undergo phosphorylation in the brain and will stay on the cell membranes of neurons as phosphatidyl-DMAE. Phosphatidyl-DMAE will then aide in membrane fluidity protecting the cell membranes’ proteins through inhibiting cellular linking of proteins. Cellular linking of proteins occurs from free radical formation that results to deterioration of membrane functions. Thus, DMAE helps in alleviating the biomembrane of the brain. It also serves as the foundation of the brain’s neuronal circle fixation that is thought to be the main organic structure of memory.

What are the benefits of DMAE?

Treatment for some medical conditions

Preclinical and some case studies report that deanol might be an effective treatment for tardive dyskinesia – a medical condition that is characterized by spontaneous movements of the face, lips, trunk, tongue and extremities usually exhibited by individuals who have been undergoing dopamine antagonist treatment. DMAE might be effective in decreasing these symptoms. Although some long-term studies showed negative results, it is quite possible that some patients might respond positively to DMAE.

Other studies have shown that deanol may be effective in decreasing inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity of individuals diagnosed with ADHD. Earlier literature revealed that children who were administered with DME have significant concentration and skills improvement as compared to children who were administered with placebo.

One other notable DMAE benefit includes Huntington chorea treatment. Similar to  tardive dyskinesia, this degenerative disorder is characterized by spontaneous jerking possibly due to inadequate cholinergic activities in the brain. As a drug that fuels cholinergic mechanism, it is possible that DMAE may treat Huntington’s chorea.

Prevents signs of aging

DMAE has been associated to preventing signs of aging including liver spots. It has also been deemed to prevent skin aging. Deanol is added to some facial cream brands where it is thought to improve appearance promoting skin firmness and preventing skin sagging.

Nootropic effects

DMAE is thought to improve memory through decreasing the accumulation of age pigments in the brain and through increasing the acetylcholine levels in the brain. These pigmentations impair cognitive functioning. It has been associated with cognitive deterioration amongst aging individuals as well.

It also protects brain cells through acting as an antioxidant. Moreover, it helps in maintaining and supporting various metabolic body processes through methylation.

Is DMAE safe to use?

Generally, deanol is well tolerated, safe to use and has low toxicity to humans if used appropriately and accordingly. Associated side effects include irritability, headaches, hypertension, hypomania/depression, confusion, urticarial and constipation.