DMAE is an organic compound which is related to Choline, however, differences in its chemical makeup allow it to cross the blood-brain barrier more effectively.


  • Increased levels of alertness  and focus [1]
  • Improvements in mood [1]
  • Improves one’s ability to sustain attention [2]
  • Promotes REM sleep, may help induce lucid dreaming  [3][6]
  • May help treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder [5]

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What Is DMAE?

DMAE is an organic compound related to choline that can be naturally produced in the body. Structurally, the only difference between the two is the DMAE has 2 methyl molecules coming off of the nitrogen molecule while choline has 3. Because of this missing molecule, DMAE can cross the blood-brain barrier more easily, giving it more noticeable effects.

DMAE Dosage Information

People usually take a dose between 100 – 300 mg twice a day. Doses should be taken with meals. It is always suggested to start with a small dose and work your way up.

How Does DMAE Work?

Like choline, DMAE is a precursor to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. [4] Acetycholine the only neurotransmitter used in the motor division of the somatic nervous system. It activates muscles in the peripheral nervous system and plays a very important role in our ability to sustain attention in the central nervous system. It also has a variety of effects as a neuromodulator upon plasticity meaning it affects our short-term memory and our ability to learn.

The difference is that DMAE crosses the blood-brain barrier more easily and its effects are much more noticeable.

Safety and Side Effects of DMAE

No studies have shown any serious negative effects associated with DMAE. At lower doses, there are usually no side effects. At higher doses, people have reported experiencing headaches, drowsiness, anxiety, and twitching movements.

It is recommended that those suffering from schizophrenia or depression not take DMAE supplements.


Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about DMAE. If you have a question that’s not on this list, send it to us at [email protected] and we will answer it for you.

Should I Take DMAE?

DMAE is an excellent nootropic for focusing and sustaining attention. Taking one or two tablets before a study/work session will have you feeling alert, energetic, and focused. If you are trying to decide between choline and DMAE for this purpose then take DMAE. It crosses the blood-brain barrier much easier and produces more noticeable effects. This isn’t a nootropic I would recommend taking every day. Chances are you will build up a tolerance to its effects and they will become less noticeable.If you are looking for a nootropic to take every day, or a nootropic to work with one of the “racetam” drugs, then I would recommend you go with a choline supplement instead. It will still provide the “racetams” with acetylcholine and it won’t have any effects that you will build up a tolerance to.

What Are Some Notable DMAE Studies?

One study conducted in 2003 looked at DMAE’s effects during different emotional states. Eighty subjects were given either a placebo or a DMAE supplement each day for 12 weeks. Subjects who were given the DMAE supplement showed increased vigilance and attention on EEG patterns. They also reported being more active and feeling much better. [1]

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Cited Studies

1. Dimpfel W, Wedekind W, Keplinger I (May 2003). “Efficacy of dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE) containing vitamin-mineral drug combination on EEG patterns in the presence of different emotional states”. Eur. J. Med. Res. 8 (5): 183–91. PMID 12844472.

2. Himmelheber, AM; Sarter, M; Bruno, JP (2000). “Increases in cortical acetylcholine release during sustained attention performance in rats”. Brain research. Cognitive brain research 9 (3): 313–25. doi:10.1016/S0926-6410(00)00012-4. PMID 10808142.

3. Platt, Bettina; Riedel, Gernot (2011). “The cholinergic system, EEG and sleep”. Behavioural Brain Research 221 (2): 499–504. doi:10.1016/j.bbr.2011.01.017. PMID 21238497

4.  Zahniser NR, Chou D, Hanin I (March 1977). “Is 2-dimethylaminoethanol (deanol) indeed a precursor of brain acetylcholine? A gas chromatographic evaluation”. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 200 (3): 545–59. PMID 850128.

5. Knobel M (1974). “Approach to a combined pharmacologic therapy of childhood hyperkinesis”. Behav Neuropsychiatry 6 (1–12): 87–90. PMID 4619768.