Improving Cognitive Function Through Supplementation

by Kelly Dorfman, MS, LND Convincing evidence shows that certain substances can improve specific aspects of thinking. Here are three promising supplements to consider for anyone interested in improving cognitive function. DMAE (Dimethylaminoethanol):  DMAE is a relative of the nutrient choline.  But, unlike choline, DMAE readily crosses the brain-blood barrier.  It thus directly increases the generation of acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter. Choline (and DMAE?) is (are?) found in eggs, fish and soybeans. Acetylcholine is abundant in both the cerebral cortex and the cerebellum, and is thus involved in cognitive processes controlled by these parts of the brain, such as memory, problem solving, organization, rational thinking, balance and movement.  Children with motor issues and low arousal may benefit from an increase in acetylcholine availability. Indications: Best for children whose prevailing problems are spaciness and poor organizational skills. Precautions: Avoid in children who have high muscle tension, sleep disturbances or agitation rather than distractibility. DMAE can increase muscle tension levels.  As with…

Nutrition and Autism, ADHD, SPD and Other Developmental Delays

by Kelly Dorfman, MS, LND, Co-Founder, Developmental Delay Resources An astounding study found a strong correlation between nutrient status and better performance on difficult visuo-spatial and abstraction tests. (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1997:65, 20-29).  Present or past intakes of protein, vitamins B-1, B-2, B-6, B-12, E, C, folate, and niacin were all related to intellectual performance in healthy, elderly individuals. If aging adults can improve visual and abstract intellectual functioning simply by eating better and taking supplements, is it not logical that the same would be true for children struggling to develop these skills? Nutrition and Autism, ADHD, SPD and Other Developmental Delays In many ways the deterioration of mental flexibility and sharpness accepted as part of growing older is similar to the processing sluggishness often seen in children with developmental delays. In one situation, the ravages of aging is the culprit; in the other, a total load of stressors causes the brain to process information slowly or inaccurately….