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
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.
NHLBI. 5P01HL069999-07 (Harshfield, PI)
Role: Co-Investigator (Current)
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
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 Programï¿½: 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.
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, 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.
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