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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Wilson's Disease
      Category : Health Centers > Brain and Nervous System

Wilson's Disease

Alternate Names : Hepatolenticular Degeneration

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

Wilson's disease is an inherited inborn error of metabolism in which the body cannot process copper.

What is going on in the body?

Wilson's disease is caused by a defect in an enzyme, or special protein. This enzyme normally helps the body get rid of extra copper. The amount of copper in a normal diet is more than the body needs. In people with Wilson's disease, the extra copper cannot be excreted from the body. The copper can damage the liver, brain, kidney, cornea, and other organs.

What are the causes and risks of the disease?

Wilson's disease is an inherited disorder. The children of parents who carry the gene for the disorder are at risk. The liver disease usually starts between ages 8 and 12, while the brain symptoms occur later in life.


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Wilson's Disease: Symptoms & Signs

Author: Ronald J. Jorgenson, DDS, PhD, FACMG
Reviewer: Adam Brochert, MD
Date Reviewed: 08/21/01

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