Wilson's disease is a rare inherited disorder that causes too much copper to accumulate in your liver, brain and other vital organs. Symptoms typically begin between the ages of 12 and 23.

Copper plays a key role in the development of healthy nerves, bones, collagen and the skin pigment melanin. Normally, copper is absorbed from your food, and any excess is excreted through bile — a substance produced in your liver.

But in people with Wilson's disease, copper isn't eliminated properly and instead accumulates, possibly to a life-threatening level. When diagnosed early, Wilson's disease is treatable, and many people with the disorder live normal lives.

Aug. 28, 2014

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