Depending on how it is packaged, dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE) can be
considered a drug or a nutrient. It is naturally present in small amounts
in the human brain, and is found in certain seafoods, including sardines
and anchovies, in which it is considered a food or nutrient.
DMAE has much the same effects as centrophenoxine or Lucidril. It increases intelligence, memory, and learning abilities, as well as producing a better mood and more energy. DMAE is a central-nervous-system stimulant and has an uplifting effect similar to that of amphetamines, without the "rush" and subsequent let down or "crash." In small doses it has a milder, continuing effect. During the first two weeks of use, the stimulating effect gradually builds up. People report that mood elevation is continually present. When discontinued, people report no depression or other letdown.
Laboratory studies have shown that older adults suffering from memory loss have decreased levels of acetylcholine. Low levels of acetylcholine have been linked to neurological and learning problems. DMAE stimulates the production of choline, which then helps the brain better produce acetylcholine. Acetylcholine improves ability to think and learn, because it is the main neurotransmitter that promotes memory and learning. The effect that DMAE has on the production of acetylcholine is increased by taking it with vitamin B5, and calcium panthothenate.
When Riker marketed Deaner, a drug closely related to DMAE, it was described as helping people with learning and memory problems, including a reduced attention span, difficulties with reading and speech, and a lowered achievement level, as well as help with movement and behavior problems. Even though it was considered to be very safe, Deaner was taken off the market in 1983 after the FDA required efficacy studies to prove its effectiveness. Market demands did not justify the cost of the needed clinical trials so Deaner was discontinued.
Deaner is available in Europe under the name Deanol-Riker. The generally recommended dose for cognitive enhancement is 400 mg. per day. However, experimentation under the guidance of a physician may be necessary to establish the optimal dose for any particular individual. Except in very sensitive people, full therapeutic benefits are seen only after several weeks of use. Starting with a small dose is always advisable. Deaner should not be taken by anyone with epilepsy or a history of convulsions. Some people experience mild headaches, weight loss, and insomnia. These symptoms are usually mild and short term. They can be eliminated by reducing the dose.
However, DMAE is still available as a nutritional supplement, which is a milder and safer stimulant. People using it report feeling " better, having more energy, and thinking, learning, and remembering more. As a nutrient, it is available in many forms such as bulk powder, capsules, and liquid. Trade names include Acumen, Atrol, Bimanol, Cervoxan, Diforene, Dimethaen, dimethylaminoethanol, EIevan, Pabenol, Paxanol, Risatarun, Tonibral, Varesal, and DMAE-H3.