Wilson's Disease

Also known as: Wilson disease, Wilson’s syndrome, Wilson syndrome.

What is Wilson’s disease?

Wilson’s disease is an uncommon medical condition that’s characterized by excess amounts of the mineral copper accumulating in the brain, liver or other organs. It can lead to a number of concerning symptoms and complications.

What causes Wilson’s disease?

Wilson’s disease is a genetic disorder that is passed down from parents to their children.

What are the symptoms of Wilson’s disease?

Fatigue, easy bruising, leg or abdomen swelling, muscle stiffness, poor coordination, speech and swallowing issues, certain psychiatric disorders, abdominal pain, and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes) are all possible symptoms of Wilson’s disease.

What are Wilson’s disease care options?

There are medicines called chelating agents that can treat Wilson’s disease. These medications bind copper that has been deposited within organs (such as the liver) and allow the body to excrete it. Alternately, some chelating agents act by limiting the absorption of copper from the gastrointestinal tract. If liver damage is particularly severe, organ transplantation may be considered.

Reviewed by: John M Peters, DO

This page was last updated on: March 20, 2019 04:07 PM