Dimethylaminoethanol, also known as DMAE or dimethylethanolamine, is an organic compound. This compound also goes by the names of N,N-dimethyl-2-aminoethanol, beta-dimethylaminoethyl alcohol, beta-hydroxyethyldimethylamine and Deanol. It is a liquid with a color that ranges from clear to pale yellow. Dimethylaminoethanol is used as a curing agent for polyurethanes and epoxy resins. It is also used in mass quantities for water treatment, and to some extent in the coatings industry. It is used in the synthesis of dyestuffs, textile auxiliaries, pharmaceuticals, emulsifiers, and corrosion inhibitors. It is also an additive to paint removers, boiler water and amino resins.
Dimethylaminoethanol is related to choline and is a biochemical precursor to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, and found naturally in fish like sardines and anchovies. It is reported to have nootropic effects, although research on this chemical has found both positive and negative potential results. It is believed that dimethylaminoethanol is methylated to produce choline in the brain. It is known that dimethylaminoethanol is processed by the liver into choline; however, the choline molecule is charged and cannot pass the blood-brain barrier.
Dimethylaminoethenol (DMAE) is a metabolite, a product produced by the body's metabolic process of procaine. It is a central nervous system stimulant that has a mild impact. It's effect is similar to an amphetamine, but it is not such a drug. The term DMAE is actually an abbreviation for dimethylaminoethanol, a naturally occurring chemical produced by the human brain. It is a choline molecule that has one methyl group missing from the nitrogen, and it may be for this reason that it can cross the blood-brain barrier more easily than choline. While choline is known to be the precursor of acetylcholine, a recognized neurotransmitter, DMAE may prove to offer a more direct approach to this function by moving into the brain, being acted on by an enzyme (methylation), and thereby undergoing conversion into choline directly where it is needed.