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Does basal forebrain atrophy mediate or moderate the effect of hippocampal atrophy on the risk for mild cognitive impairment?
  1. James T Becker1,2,3,
  2. Mario Riverol2,4
  1. 1Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
  2. 2Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, Department of Neurology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
  3. 3Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, Department of Psychology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
  4. 4Department of Neurology, Clinica Universidad de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain
  1. Correspondence to Dr James T Becker, Neuropsychology Research Program, Suite 830, 3501 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA; beckerjt{at}

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The role of the cholinergic nervous system in behaviour had been hypothesised since 1963,1 but it was not until the 1980s that the biochemical link between cholinergic function and memory was specified in dementia, and the nucleus basalis of Meynert was identified as the key anatomical region.2 Throughout, the hippocampus has had an important role in our understanding of memory and is an attractive target for research because it is easily identified, is anatomically well organised, and the intra- and inter-regional connections are well defined.

With the advent of modern neuroimaging techniques, these inter-regional differences in anatomical clarity became more important. The basal …

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  • Linked article 217133.

  • Funding The preparation of this commentary was supported in part by funds from the National Institute on Aging (AG020098, AG15928, AG05133), the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (N01-HC-055222) and Clinica Universidad de Navarra (Spain).

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; not externally peer reviewed.

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