In vivo 1H MRS reveals reduced N-acetylaspartate (NAA) and elevated myo-inositol (mI) in patients with mild Alzheimer's disease (AD) and patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI). We are unaware of studies that have documented abnormal scyllo-inositol (sI) levels in patients with AD or patients with MCI, although a previous MRS study in older adults has indicated that sl is a peak of interest to measure in AD. Fifteen patients with mild AD, 26 patients with amnestic MCI, and 19 healthy older adults were recruited to this study. All underwent 1H MRS of the posterior cingulate gyrus of the brain using a 3T MRI scanner. Increases in the sI/creatine (Cr) ratio were observed in patients with mild AD (P < 0.05). The mI/Cr ratio was raised in patients with mild AD (P < 0.01) and MCI (P < 0.05). Reduced NAA/Cr was detected in patients with mild AD (P < 0.05). The sI/Cr ratio correlated negatively (r = -0.60, P < 0.05) with a measure of clock drawing in patients with mild AD, indicating that impaired cognitive ability in AD is associated with higher concentrations of sI/Cr. In vivo measurement of sI/Cr in the posterior cingulate gyrus of patients with mild AD revealed increases compared with cognitively healthy older adults. Further research on the mechanisms of sI increase in AD is needed. Future studies on the longitudinal course of sI/Cr in MCI and AD appear warranted. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.