Introduction: We present three consecutive patients with central neurocytoma in whom proton MRS demonstrated the presence of alanine. Materials and methods: Three patients in the age range 24 to 30 years underwent MRI and proton MRS using a 1.5-T system. MRS was performed with the multivoxel PRESS sequence. All three patients underwent surgery and the diagnosis of central neurocytoma was established by histopathological examination and immunostaining. Results: With an echotime of 135 ms glycine, high choline, small NAA and alanine were observed in all three patients. Conclusion: Alanine may be observed in central neurocytomas as it is in meningiomas. Other spectral peaks such as those for glycine and NAA should help to identify this tumor correctly. © Springer-Verlag 2007.