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Vernon A. Barnes, MS, MSCI, PhD 

Emeritus Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Nursing and Graduate Studies 

Dr. Barnes' present research interests involves examining the impact of interventions in the areas of behavior and complementary and alternative medicine.  He has over 15 years of experience conducting interventions to evaluate the effectiveness of stress reduction in treatment of elevated blood pressure and associated pre-clinical markers of cardiovascular disease in youth and adolescents.  He has also received funding as principal investigator from the American Heart Association, the NIH NHLBI and the Georgia Health Sciences University.

Maharishi University of Management, IA 1996 

Maharishi International University, IA 1993
Molecular and Cellular Biology 

Maharishi European Research University, IA 1981
Science of Creative Intelligence

University of Calgary, CAN 1973
Computer Science/Chemistry

Contributed to studies with mind-body medicine:
A review article on stress, stress reduction and hypertension included mortality findings published in the Journal of the National Medical Association. The mortality findings presented to the American Heart Association in 1996 were the basis for a later study published in the American Journal of Cardiology.

The mechanism of blood pressure lowering effects with Transcendental Meditation was proposed based on findings with adults. This study was followed up in a school-based study with prehypertensive African American adolescents, that reported and improved school behavior, reduced resting and ambulatory blood pressure and reduced cardiovascular reactivity and left ventricular mass in adolescents at risk for hypertension practicing the Transcendental Meditation program. We were able to demonstrate that a school-based meditation program could be successful in lowering blood pressure in normotensive 12 year-olds. A later study with prehypertensive adolescents reported reduced blood pressure and sodium retention and the importance of family influences on meditation efficacy.

Studies on childhood obesity:
Our studies with childhood obesity reported findings on the association of adiposity and cardiovascular reactivity in adolescents that was published in the International Journal of Obesity. These findings were followed up with a school-based mindfulness-based eating awareness training for overweight adolescents that showed improved diet and exercise habits. A later study examined ethnicity and socioeconomic status on cardiovascular reactivity in youth.

We were the first to measure stress levels and hemodynamics in adolescents with family members deployed in the Iraq War and the first to report on anger, anxiety and blood pressure changes with a school-based anger management program for adolescents. We recently reported on an in-patient program to increase bicycle helmet use in youth for prevention of traumatic brain injury.

“Effectiveness of AVAPRO in the treatment of salt sensitivity in young African Americans”

NHLBI. 5P01HL069999-07 (Harshfield, PI)
Role: Co-Investigator (Current) 

Epigenetic basis of obesity induced cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes

NHLBI 1R01HL105689-01 (Wang, PI)
Role: Co-Investigator (Current)

Society of Behavioral Medicine Complementary and Alternative Medicine Special Interest Group Investigator Research Award

Present: Director of Education Research, Williams LifeSkills, Inc, Durham NC 

Blue Ribbon Award, International Society of Hypertension in Blacks 

Scholar Award, American Psychosomatic Society

Pub Med

Barnes, V.A., Kapuku, G., and Treiber, F.A. Impact of Transcendental Meditation on Left Ventricular Mass in African American Adolescents. eCAM. 2012. article ID 923153. doi:10.1155/2012/923153. 6 pages.

Barnes VA, Orme-Johnson DA. Prevention and Treatment of Cardiovascular Disease in Adolescents and Adults through the Transcendental Meditation Program�: A Research Review Update. Current Hypertension Reviews 20128(3). 8(3) 227-242.

Barnes VA, Johnson MH, Williams RB, et al. Impact of Williams Lifeskills Training on Anger, Anxiety and Ambulatory Blood Pressure in Adolescents. Translational Behav Med.2012. DOI: 10.1007/s13142-012-0162-3.

Jerath R, Barnes VA, Dillard-Wright DB, et al. Dynamic change of awareness during mind-body techniques: neural and physiological correlates. Frontiers in Neuroscience.2012. Vol. 6, article 131, 1-4.

Barnes VA, Gregoski MJ, Tingen M, & Treiber FA. Family Environmental Influences of Meditation Efficacy On Hemodynamic Function Among African American Adolescents. Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine. 2010. Vol 7, issue 1, article 25.

Barnes VA, Davis HC, Treiber FA: Perceived stress, heart rate and blood pressure among adolescents with family members deployed in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Military Medicine 2007, 172(1) 40-43.

Barnes VA, Treiber FA, Johnson MH. Impact of Transcendental Meditation on ambulatory blood pressure in African American adolescents. American Journal of Hypertension, 2004, 17:366-369.

Barnes VA, Bauza LB, Treiber FA. Impact of stress reduction on negative school behavior in adolescents. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes. 2003, 1:1-7.

Barnes VA, Treiber FA, Musante L, Turner JR, Davis H, Strong WB. Ethnicity and socioeconomic status: Impact on cardiovascular activity at rest and during stress in youth with a family history of hypertension. Ethnicity and Disease, 10(1):4-16, 2000.

Barnes VA, Treiber FA, Turner JR, Davis H, Strong WB. Acute effects of Transcendental Meditation on hemodynamic functioning in middle aged adults. Psychosomatic Medicine, 64(1) 525-531, 1999

Barnes VA, Treiber FA, Davis H, Kelley T, Strong WB. Central adiposity and hemodynamic functioning at rest and during stress in adolescents. International Journal of Obesity, 22(11):1079-1083, 1998.

Barnes VA, Schneider RH, Alexander CN, Staggers F. Stress, stress reduction and hypertension in African Americans: an updated review. Journal of the National Medical Association, 89(7):464-476, 1997.


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