The winter cold, less daylight, and the pressure of family expectations during the holidays can make it a challenging time of year for people with depression.

Mood disorders can be debilitating and are a growing disability throughout the world. Society labels depression and anxiety as “mental illnesses” and looks for treatments that alter brain chemistry and function. These treatments fail to work in half of patients. New treatments and ways of diagnosing mental illness are needed.

Virginia Tech neuroscience expert Georgia Hodes, in collaboration with the Pasinetti lab at the Icahn School of Neuroscience at Mt. Sinai, has discovered that metabolites of red wine, dark chocolate, coffee, and blueberries can be used to treat depression. Her research looks at how inflammation of the body can directly change the ways the brain responds to stress.

Read more about Hodes:

Compounds found in grapes, dark chocolate, coffee, and blueberries can be used to treat depression

Mental Health Awareness Week: Neuroscience expert points to alternative treatments for depression and anxiety