ADHD is characterized by a lack of attention, hyperactivity, and impulsive behaviors. Which makes a person with this condition distracted, restless and fidgety, with a lack of regard for social niceties. There are a number of medications that can be prescribed to address the behaviors of ADHD, however to avoid or reduce dependence on medications, some people have looked at other alternatives like the DMAE ADHD connection.

DMAE or the dimethyl-amino-ethanol is a substance that is produced in the brain and is believed to increase the levels of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. DMAE is also found in fish, like anchovies, and sardines.

There were a couple of studies carried out in the 1970’s that looked at using DMAE as a treatment for ADHD. In one ten-week double blind study of 50 children (6-12yrs) compared DMAE to a placebo. At the end of the study those children taking DMAE had showed significant improvements in their test scores.

A second 10-week double blind study of 74 children compared DMAE with Ritalin and a placebo. Both the DMAE and Ritalin group showed significant improvements.

However, since then the focus on the use for DMAE has been on improving memory and moods, with no actual clinical studies taking place regarding the effectiveness of DMAE on ADHD.

There is however, quite a lot of anecdotal evidence to suggest that DMAE could be beneficial to children and adults with ADHD. DMAE has shown promising results in reducing hyperactivity and also in improved concentration. This could prove invaluable in classroom settings where ADHD children could often become restless, distracted and bored.

It has been reported that DMAE may offer the following benefits to ADHD sufferers:

  • Increase attention span
  • Reduce aggression
  • Improvement in learning ability
  • May increase intelligence.
  • Increase energy.
  • Reduce anxiety

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Taking DMAE in recognized doses has shown it to be tolerated well although, there are some possible side effects, which include headache, insomnia, restlessness, depression, and irritability.

As DMAE is non-toxic these side effects will diminish when DMAE is stopped. Should any of the side effects occur then stop the dosage and restart a few days later at a lower level and wait a week before increasing again.

If you were considering supplementing your child’s diet with DMAE it would be worthwhile consulting your doctor prior to starting any new regime.

There does seem to be a dmae ADHD improvement link, but larger controlled studies are required to confirm this for sure.