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Meet Michael A. L. Johnson, MD, Cefaly’s Director of Medical Affairs

Michael Johnson first became interested in neurology when he was just a kid — thanks to Bill Nye the Science Guy. Dr. Johnson remembers watching Nye on the local public television station and hearing him say there was so much still to discover about the human brain.

“Neurology is one of the ultimate disciplines in discovery,” Dr. Johnson says. “It’s discovery about yourself. It’s discovery about what makes you you.”

See how Dr. Johnson is shaping the evolution of migraine treatment.

Helping Veterans Heal

After receiving his medical degree from the Howard University College of Medicine, Dr. Johnson directly commissioned in the U.S. Army. He completed his neurology residency at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, then became Chief of Neurology and Medical Specialties at Blanchfield Army Community Hospital at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

Working with active-duty service members who had suffered combat and non-combat injuries such as traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injury, gun shots, blast injuries, seizures and stroke, Dr. Johnson witnessed firsthand how debilitating neurological conditions could be. “There’s a real sanctity in the relationship between a provider and their patient,” he explains. “They meet each other at vulnerable moments and together, they work to make medical decisions that can affect their lives and the lives of their families.”

Dr. Johnson is deeply interested in patients who live with migraine, epilepsy, and neurological conditions. “I have seen many young men and women who suffer from debilitating migraine, and this impassioned me to seek migraine solutions for my patients,” he says.

From treating these patients, he developed an interest in studying electrical interfaces within the nervous system and researching neuromodulation treatment of neurological conditions. Neuromodulation is an intervention — whether electrical, mechanical, pharmaceutical, or otherwise — which changes the long-term behavior of a nerve or the nervous system.

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Leading the Evolution of Neuromodulation for Migraine

As Director of Medical Affairs for CEFALY, Dr. Johnson has two missions. One is migraine education for patients, healthcare providers, and CEFALY colleagues. He helps patients and providers understand how neuromodulation works to prevent migraine attacks and relieve migraine pain. He also communicates patients’ and providers’ insights to the CEFALY team, shaping future versions of the CEFALY device.

The other core piece is development. Dr. Johnson recently was involved in the testing and regulatory phase for the CEFALY DUAL Enhanced, which updated the design, user experience, and storage of the original CEFALY DUAL.

He also works with the FDA and regulatory departments, plans clinical research to further study CEFALY’s efficacy, and collaborates with other agencies and insurance companies to improve access to CEFALY for the migraine community. While doing all this, Dr. Johnson continues conducting research and treating patients in his clinical neurology and epilepsy practice.

Thanks to Dr. Johnson, as well as his patients and research colleagues, we’re learning more about migraine and the brain every day — and continuing to improve migraine treatment as well.

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