PURPOSE Late juvenile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL) is a lysosomal neurodegenerative disorder caused by the accumulation of lipopigment in neurons. Our purpose was to characterize the MR imaging and spectroscopic findings in three children with late infantile NCL. METHODS Three children with late infantile NCL and three age-matched control subjects were examined by MR imaging and by localized MR spectroscopy using echo times of 135 and 5. Normalized peak integral values were calculated for N-acetylaspartate (NAA), choline, creatine, myo-inositol, and glutamate/glutamine. RESULTS MR imaging revealed volume loss of the CNS, most prominently in the cerebellum. The T2-weighted images showed a hypointense thalamus and hyperintense periventricular white matter. Proton MR spectra revealed progressive changes, with a reduction of NAA and an increase of myo-inositol and glutamate/glutamine. In long-standing late infantile NCL, myo-inositol became the most prominent resonance. Lactate was not detectable. CONCLUSION MR imaging in combination with proton MR spectroscopy can facilitate the diagnosis of late infantile NCL and help to differentiate NCL from other neurometabolic disorders, such as mitochondrial or peroxisomal encephalopathies.