The objective of this prospective study was the application of proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy in children with spastic diplegia (SD) to determine the metabolite profile of SD children in the left basal ganglia, and to assess the relationship of this profile with motor and mental development. Patients with SD showed reduced ratios of N-acetylaspartate (NAA)/creatine (Cr), NAA/choline (Cho), NAA/myo-inositol (mI), Cho/NAA, Cho/Cr and Cho/mI in the basal ganglia compared to a well-matched control group. On the other hand, we noted increased Cr/NAA, Cr/Cho and mI/NAA ratios in the SD patients as compared with controls. NAA/mI ratios were positively correlated with the severity scale of cerebral palsy in SD children. There was also a significant correlation between Cr/NAA and mental retardation. Increased Cr/NAA, Cr/Cho and mI/NAA ratios in SD children may suggest the existence of the compensatory mechanisms in these patients. The NAA/mI ratio could be used as an additional marker of SD severity and Cr/NAA as a marker of the mental retardation.