Brian Johnson, MD, 315 464-3130

Brian Johnson, MD
Appointed 04/01/08
STE217 600 E. Genesee Street
600 E. Genesee Street
Syracuse, NY 13202

315 464-3130

Current Appointments

Hospital Campus

  • Downtown

Clinical Section Affiliations

  • Anesthesiology: Pain Treatment

Research Programs and Affiliations

  • Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Featured Video

Education & Fellowships

  • Residency: Cambridge Hospital, 1981, Psychiatry
  • Residency: Metropolitan Hospital Center, 1977, Medicine
  • Internship: Harlem Hospital, 1976
  • MD: New York Medical College, 1976
  • BS: Columbia University, 1972

Research Interests

  • The goal of Dr. Johnson’s research is to understand how opioids exert their effects by addressing clinical challenges that appear unrelated but are unified by an innovative theory.  We propose a theory that unifies the nature of these disorders by assuming that each involves a dysregulation of the opioid system based on data suggesting that opioid dependence and fibromyalgia are associated with low opioid tone whereas autism is associated with high opioid tone.  Our first challenge, therefore, is to create and validate a treatment for opioid dependence that corrects persistent hormonal changes after detoxification.  Our second challenge is to treat fibromyalgia.  Our third challenge is to assess whether autism is a disease of too-high opioid tone by blocking excess opioid stimulation to treat the symptoms.  Opioid dependence, fibromyalgia, and autism are three disorders that cause much distress and disability but are difficult to treat.  We test our theory by treating opioid dependence and fibromyalgia with low-dose naltrexone and autism with high-dose naltrexone.  Our theory suggests a novel approach that could improve the quality of life of patients suffering from these debilitating disorders.

Clinical Trials

  • International Naturalistic Cohort Study of ADHD and Substance Use Disorders (INCAS): clinical characteristics, treatment, and outcome
    Read more
  • Outcomes of Autism Treatment Using Naltrexone
    Read more

Specialties & Certification

  • Psychiatry
  • Addiction Medicine
  • Psychiatry and Neurology
  • Addiction Psychiatry

Diseases & Conditions Treated

  • Alcohol Abuse
  • Alcohol Use Disorder
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Opioid Induced Hyperalgesia
  • Opioid Use Disorder
  • Opioid Withdrawal
  • Prescription Drug Abuse
  • Tobacco, Benzodiazepine, Cocaine and Amphetamine Use Disorder


  • Adults and Children


  • Alcohol Detoxification
  • Benzodiazepine Detoxification
  • Diagnostic Assessment
  • Individual Psychotherapy
  • Opioid Detoxification
  • Outpatient Detoxification
  • Pain Control
  • Pain Management for Chronic Illness
  • Psychodynamic Psychotherapy
  • Psychopharmacology


  • Onondaga County Medical Society, President

Current Hospital Privileges

  • Upstate University Hospital

HealthLink on Air Radio Interview


Link to PubMed External Icon (Opens new window. Close the PubMed window to return to this page.)

Research Abstract

Clinical Profile Shortcut:
Faculty Profile Shortcut: