QSAR analyses have been performed on the substituted indanone and benzylpiperidine ring substructures of a set of acetylcholinesterase, AChE, inhibitors of which 1-benzyl-4-[(5,6-dimethoxy-1-oxoindan-2-yl)methyl]piperidine hydrochloride is a potent in vitro and ex vivo inhibitor. The method of molecular decomposition-recomposition was used to define the sets of molecular substructures and corresponding in vitro inhibition databases. A QSAR involving the magnitude of the dipole moment, the highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO) energy, and a specific pi-orbital wave function coefficient of the substituted indanone ring substructure was constructed and found to be significant. The absence of any molecular-shape or bulk term in the QSAR, coupled with some of the relatively large substituents used to construct the QSAR, suggests considerable space is available around the indanone ring during the inhibition process. A set of QSARs were constructed and evaluated for substituents on the aromatic ring of the benzylpiperidine substructure. The most significant QSAR involves a representation of molecular shape, the largest principal moment of inertia, and the HOMO of the substituted aromatic ring. It appears that upon binding the receptor "wall" is closely fit around the benzyl ring, especially near the para position. Overall, the QSAR analysis suggests inhibition potency can be better enhanced by substitution on the indanone ring, as compared to the aromatic sites of the benzylpiperidine ring. Moreover, inhibition potency can be rapidly diminished, presumably through steric interactions with the receptor surface of AChE, by substitution of moderate to large groups on the benzyl ring, particularly at the para position.