Tumefactive demyelinating lesions can present with features similar, clinically and radiologically, to those of brain tumours. Proton MR spectroscopy has been increasingly used to characterize intracranial pathology. As the underlying pathophysiology of neoplasms is different from that of demyelinating disease, one may expect the metabolic composition of neoplasms to be significantly different from that of demyelinating lesions. We report a 49-year-old woman in whom the neurologic and radiologic findings were highly suggestive of a high-grade brain tumor, and the spectroscopic features were sufficiently similar to that of a tumor to convince the neurosurgeon to operate. This case emphasizes the need for caution when confronted with a patient who presents with a differential diagnosis of demyelinating lesion versus neoplasm.