Dimethylaminoethanol, also known as dimethylethanolamine (DMAE and DMEA respectively), is a primary alcohol. This compound also goes by the names of N,N-dimethyl-2-aminoethanol, beta-dimethylaminoethyl alcohol, beta-hydroxyethyldimethylamine and Deanol. It is a transparent, pale-yellow liquid.
Dimethylaminoethanol is related to choline and may be a biochemical precursor to the neurotransmitteracetylcholine, although this conclusion has been disputed based on a 1977 rat experiment. It is commonly believed that dimethylaminoethanol is methylated to produce choline in the brain, but this has been shown not to be the case (in a rat experiment). It is known that dimethylaminoethanol is processed by the liver into choline; however, in a rat experiment the choline molecule is charged and cannot pass the blood–brain barrier. In the brain, DMAE is instead bound to phospholipids in place of choline to produce phosphatidyl-dimethylaminoethanol. This is then incorporated into nerve membranes, increasing fluidity and permeability, and acting as an antioxidant.
2-Dimethylaminoethyl chloride hydrochloride is an intermediate made from dimethylaminoethanol that is widely used for the manufacture of pharmaceuticals.
Short-term studies have shown an increase in vigilance and alertness with a positive influence on mood following administration of DMAE, vitamins, and minerals in individuals suffering from borderline emotional disturbance. Research for ADHD has been promising, though inconclusive. A study showed dimethylaminoethanol to decrease the average life span of aged quail. Three other studies showed an increase in lifespan of mice 
The bitartrate salt of DMAE, i.e. 2-dimethylaminoethanol (+)-bitartrate, is sold as a dietary supplement. It is a white powder providing 37% DMAE.
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