David K. Johnson, M.A., Ph.D. for UC Davis Health

David K. Johnson, M.A., Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Neurology and Center for Health Care Policy and Research

David K. Johnson is not currently accepting new patients. For assistance finding a UC Davis doctor, please call 800-2-UCDAVIS (800-282-3284).








Locations and Contact

UC Davis Alzheimer's Center/VA Center

East Bay Alzheimer's Disease Clinic
100 North Wiget Lane
Walnut Creek, CA 94598

Get Directions

Clinic Phone: 925-357-6515

Additional Numbers

Clinic Phone


Clinic Fax


Physician Referrals

800-4-UCDAVIS (800-482-3284)

Philosophy of Care

For over 25 years I have worked with older patients and their families to cope with the stress caused by dementia. As an expert diagnostician, care consultant and therapist, I inform, educate and support families coping with late life chronic neurological disease burden.

Clinical Interests

Dr. Johnson is a Professor of Neurology in the University of California at Davis, School of Medicine. He possesses expertise in clinical and neuropsychological assessment of healthy aging and dementia and advanced longitudinal research methodology. As director of the UC Davis Alzheimer’s Disease Center – East Bay San Francisco, he is responsible for the clinical-cognitive assessment, analysis, and interpretation of hundreds of older adults each year.

Research/Academic Interests

His primary academic interest is to investigate the biologic bases of behavior that identify healthy aging and distinguish it from dementia. Dr. Johnson's research program focuses on improving the sensitivity and specificity of cognitive and biological markers of Alzheimer’s disease and on developing and testing clinical interventions that inhibit disease progression. Fundamental to all of his research is a broad appreciation of how dementia affects individuals as well as the social networks that support them. His work has contributed significantly to the detection of very early signs and component processes of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Since 2017, Dr. Johnson has focused research in the Alzheimer’s Disease Center in the East Bay on African-American health disparities research and clinical service. The East Bay catchment is the most diverse in Northern California. His research is synergistic (1) with UC Davis' spirit of community and diversity



Center/Program Affiliation

Center for Healthcare Policy and Research

Undergraduate School

B.A., Washington College in Maryland, Chestertown MD 1990

Medical School

M.A., Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis MO 2001

Other School

Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis MO 2003

Other School

Clinical Postdoc, Neuropsych, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis MO 2004


Doctoral Internship in Clinical Psychology, St. Louis VA Medical Center, St. Louis MO 1996-2001


Doctoral Training in Clinical Psychology, Aging and Neuropsychology tracks, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis MO 1996-2001


Research Instructor, Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, Department of Neurology, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis MO 2003-2007

Ad Hoc Reviewer, National Institutes of Health Center for Scientific Research, 2019, 2020

National Institutes of Health Center for Scientific Research, Permanent Reviewer NIA-S, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019

Invited Expert Testimony, California Legislature Committee on Aging and Disability, 2018

Invited Expert Testimony, Kansas Legislature Appropriations Committee, 2017

National Institutes of Health Center for Scientific Research, Early Career Reviewer, 2013, 2014, 2013

Burns JM, Johnson DK, Liebmann EP, Bothwell RJ, Morris JK, Vidoni ED. Safety of disclosing amyloid status in cognitively normal older adults. Alzheimers Dement. 2017 Sep;13(9):1024-1030. doi:10.1016/j.jalz.2017.01.022. Epub 2017 Mar 3. PMID:28263740.

Valdivieso-Mora E, Peet CL, Garnier-Villarreal M, Salazar-Villanea M, Johnson DK. A Systematic Review of the Relationship between Familism and Mental Health Outcomes in Latino Population. Front Psychol. 2016 Oct 25;7:1632. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01632. PMID:27826269.

Johnson DK, Langford Z, Garnier-Villarreal M, Morris JC, Galvin JE. Onset of Mild Cognitive Impairment in Parkinson Disease. Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord. 2016 Apr-Jun;30(2):127-33. doi:10.1097/WAD.0000000000000088. PMID:25850732.

Morris JK, Vidoni ED, Mahnken JD, Montgomery RN, Johnson DK, Thyfault JP, Burns JM. Cognitively impaired elderly exhibit insulin resistance and no memory improvement with infused insulin. Neurobiol Aging. 2016 Mar;39:19-24. doi:10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2015.11.005. Epub 2015 Dec 1. PMID:26923398.

Gupta A, Lepping RJ, Yu AS, Perea RD, Honea RA, Johnson DK, Brooks WM, Burns JM. Cognitive Function and White Matter Changes Associated with Renal Transplantation. Am J Nephrol. 2016;43(1):50-7. doi:10.1159/000444334. Epub 2016 Feb 20. PMID:26894920.

Salazar-Villanea M, Liebmann E, Garnier-Villarreal M, Montenegro-Montenegro E, Johnson DK. Depressive Symptoms Affect Working Memory in Healthy Older Adult Hispanics. J Depress Anxiety. 2015 Oct;4(4):204. doi:10.4172/2167-1044.1000204. Epub 2015 Sep 27. PMID:27104091.

Vidoni ED, Johnson DK, Morris JK, Van Sciver A, Greer CS, Billinger SA, Donnelly JE, Burns JM. Dose-Response of Aerobic Exercise on Cognition: A Community-Based, Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial. PLoS One. 2015 Jul 9;10(7):e0131647. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0131647. PMID:26158265.

Morris JK, Vidoni ED, Perea RD, Rada R, Johnson DK, Lyons K, Pahwa R, Burns JM, Honea RA. Insulin resistance and gray matter volume in neurodegenerative disease. Neuroscience. 2014 Jun 13;270:139-47. doi:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2014.04.006. Epub 2014 Apr 13. PMID:24735819.

Watts AS, Vidoni ED, Loskutova N, Johnson DK, Burns JM. Measuring Physical Activity in Older Adults with and without Early Stage Alzheimer's Disease. Clin Gerontol. 2013 Jul;36(4):356-374. doi:10.1080/07317115.2013.788116. PMID:24062599.