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Evolution of the neurochemical profile consisting of 19 metabolites after 30 mins of middle cerebral artery occlusion was longitudinally assessed at 3, 8 and 24 h in 6 to 8 mu L volumes in the striatum using localized H-1-magnetic resonance spectroscopy at 14.1 T. Profound changes were detected as early as 3 h after ischemia, which include elevated lactate levels in the presence of significant glucose concentrations, decreases in glutamate and a transient twofold glutamine increase, likely to be linked to the excitotoxic release of glutamate and conversion into glial glutamine. Interestingly, decreases in N-acetyl-aspartate (NAA), as well as in taurine, exceeded those in neuronal glutamate, suggesting that the putative neuronal marker NAA is rather a sensitive marker of neuronal viability. With further ischemia evolution, additional, more profound concentration decreases were detected, reflecting a disruption of cellular functions. We conclude that early changes in markers of energy metabolism, glutamate excitotoxicity and neuronal viability can be detected with high precision non-invasively in mice after stroke. Such investigations should lead to a better understanding and insight into the sequential early changes in the brain parenchyma after ischemia, which could be used for identifying new targets for neuroprotection.