DMAE is short for dimethylaminoethanol. It is a chemical involved in the formation of acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter.
DMAE is produced naturally in the brain, and it is also found in oily fish. Acetylcholine shortage is implicated in Alzheimer's and other degenerative brain disorders, as this chemical plays an important role in memory and cognitive function.
As a supplement DMAE is thought to help treat ADHD and autism, and to provide an all round cognitive boost. It may help to increase concentration and focus, although how long this boost might last for is unclear.
DMAE's other main health related application is a boost to the skin. It appears to have skin firming effects, although the mechanism for this is not fully understood. DMAE is often found in beauty and facial products, and anti-ageing claims are sometimes made for it.
It is thought that DMAE may also have potential for maintaining the health of heart membranes, although this area is still under research.
DMAE is available in tablet or capsule format, as well as in topical applications such as face creams.