The Prevalence of Mental Health and Neurodegenerative Disease

Greg Eckel
27 min readMay 23, 2020

A recorded meeting between Dr. Greg Eckel and Dr. Elena Villanueva. Dr. Elena’s expertise is in helping individuals find and address the underlying cause of their depression, anxiety and memory loss, Parkinson’s and other mental health disorders and disease. After almost losing her own life to mental health disorders with no answers or solutions from conventional medicine, she started searching for her own answers and solutions. And that is our topic of discussion for today. So first off, thank you Dr. Elena and welcome aboard to the What the Health podcast.
Dr. Elena: So glad to be here with you today. I love every time we get to chat.
Dr. Eckel: Awesome. So our topic today is the prevalence of mental health and neurodegenerative disease. How mental health is the only piece of our health care system that is not evidence based. And we’re going to discuss underlying causes and labs to find them. So with that and your story, you came into the system, you didn’t have resources, and you were in a really in a dark space I’m guessing. Let’s start with your story.
Dr. Elena: Yeah. You know I just started having some different health issues that started out as some anxiety and little bouts of depression. And probably like most people, I just thought well, this is just situational. So I just pressed on and then later on it came back a little worse. I tried taking some Lexapro or Paxil and some other things, and eventually when there were enough variables, I ended up really falling into a hole with the depression and anxiety. It became so bad that I wasn’t functional. And on top of that I also ended up losing my ability to speak and I lost my memory. I couldn’t even remember my son’s name. It was really scary. Having had a stroke, I ended up with vertigo so bad that I couldn’t tell which way was up, so I couldn’t even lift my head up off the pillow. It was just really, really scary. And all the doctors were just shaking their heads and shrugging their shoulders saying, well, you know what, we just don’t really know what’s wrong. We’ve done these brain scans on you, um, here, take this antiviral and take this anti-anxiety medicine and just go home. I was a single mom with three sports medicine practices, traveling around the world, working with Olympic athletes. I had a lot on my plate and I was the provider. I was the provider. I was absolutely terrified. Not only was I terrified because I didn’t know what was happening to me, but the doctors scared me even more because even they didn’t know what was wrong. I had all of…