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DMAE, or dimethylaminoethanol, is a compound that helps improve concentration and memory, and has recently been in the spotlight for its ability to reduce wrinkles, age spots, and other signs of aging.

DMAE was originally studied for potential as a treatment for hyperactivity in students with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD). In the 1970s, studies demonstrated that children taking DMAE were less hyper and disruptive in class an increased ability to concentrate in school. Research suggests that DMAE may also help treat symptoms of autism, memory deficiency, depression, and dementia.

DMAE boosts brain function by causing the body to produce more acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that sends messages and commands concerning emotions and behavior throughout the brain. Acetylcholine is also thought to be involved in the process of storing memories. Many people swear by DMAE supplements, reporting that DMAE supplementation improved their memory (especially short-term memory), concentration, and mental clarity, and even helped them sleep more soundly.

DMAE is found in oily fish, but small amounts of it are also produced in the body. However, the average person gets just enough DMAE to maintain rather than improve brain function, and it is impossible to get enough DMAE from dietary sources to treat mental disorders.

DMAE supplements are widely available in liquid, capsule, tablet, and cream forms. DMAE creams have demonstrated an ability to help tighten skin and fade age spots, although it is not certain how it achieves these results. If you want to try oral DMAE supplements, follow the dosage instructions on the package. It is best to start with the minimum recommended dosage—DMAE has been reported to cause headaches, muscle tension and insomnia in some individuals. Drowsiness has also been reported. You may want to consider taking it only on those days when you want to increase alertness and focus.

Note: Do not take DMAE if you have a seizure disorder or manic depression, as it could worsen these conditions.

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