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DMAE is more widely marketed today as a memory and mood enhancer, but some believe that it can improve intellectual functioning. 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.
Evidence on How It Works
There have been some well-designed double-blind, placebo-controlled studies have yielded almost entirely negative results about DMAE's ability to increase a certain type of neurotransmitter, acetylcholine and improve intellectual functioning.1-7 In addition, there is some controversy over whether DMAE really increases acetylcholine at all.8
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