The fellowship began on 2nd November and is an award of £128,663.95 over a two-year period.
In a summary of the research Dr Garfield said: “Dementia is one of the most feared diabetes complications. Risks are elevated in people with diabetes, but glucose lowering trials have been disappointing.
“However, Mendelian randomisation is a genetic tool which can help uncover true causal relationships, as genes are randomly distributed at birth and not influenced by external risk factors. Using this, I have shown that diabetes itself does not appear to cause dementia.
“I now want to use this tool to identify which diabetes related factor is the true culprit, in large datasets which include measures of cognition, brain structural damage and dementia.
“There are four potential explanations: i) processes underlying diabetes e.g., insulin resistance, ii) associated metabolic disturbances, e.g., amino acids, iii) associated risk factors e.g., blood pressure (BP), iv) risk factors upstream of diabetes e.g., obesity.
“By identifying true causal determinants, we will be in a better place to pinpoint interventions to be tested in clinical trials to reduce dementia risk in diabetes.”