Wilson Disease


Wilson Disease is an inherited disease that leaves the body accumulating too much copper. The human body needs a certain amount of copper in the cells in order for them to function properly. A mutation of the ATP7B gene causes an excess of copper to accumulate in the liver leading to liver damage.

It is estimated that about 1 in 30,000 people have Wilson Disease. In children and adults, the disease causes belly swelling, weight loss and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes). When the brain is overloaded with copper, it can also cause neurological problems.

People may be clumsy, have difficulty walking, trouble speaking and can be anxious, depressed and have problems thinking.

One of the signs of Wilson Disease is a copper-caused green-brown ring around the outside of the color area of the eyes. This copper deposit in the eyes may also restrict the normal movement of the eyes