Water-suppressed localized proton NMR spectroscopy using stimulated echoes has been successfully applied to detect metabolites in the human brain in vivo. The STEAM spectroscopy sequence allows single-step localization by exciting three intersecting slices. Water suppression is achieved by preceding chemical-shift-selective (CHESS) rf pulses. High-resolution (0.05 ppm) proton NMR spectra of healthy volunteers have been obtained on a conventional 1.5-T whole-body MRI system (Siemens Magnetom). Volumes-of-interest (VOI) of 64 ml(4 × 4 × 4 cm3) were localized in the occipital area of the brain and spectra were recorded within measuring times ranging from I s (single scan) to about 10 min. The experimental procedure is described in detail. Resonance assignments include acetate, N-acetyl aspartate, γ-amino butyrate, glutamine, glutamate, aspartate, creatine and phosphocreatine, choline-containing compounds, taurine, and inositols. Cerebral lactate was found to be at a maximum concentration of 0.5 mM when assuming N-acetyl aspartate in white matter to be 6 mM. © 1989 Academic Press, Inc.