Overview

Wilson's disease is a rare inherited disorder that causes copper to accumulate in your liver, brain and other vital organs. Most people with Wilson's disease are diagnosed between the ages of 5 and 35, but it can affect younger and older people, as well.

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 excess is excreted through a substance produced in your liver (bile).

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.

Wilson's disease care at Mayo Clinic

Aug. 03, 2017
References
  1. Shilsky ML. Wilson disease: Clinical manifestations, diagnosis and natural history. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 22, 2017.
  2. AskMayoExpert. Wilson disease. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2017.
  3. Pazirandeh S, et al. Overview of dietary trace minerals. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 22, 2017.
  4. Wilson disease. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/liver-disease/wilson-disease. Accessed June 22, 2017.
  5. Shilsky ML. Wilson disease: Treatment and prognosis. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 22, 2017.
  6. Bandmann O, et al. Wilson's disease and other neurological copper disorders. The Lancet Neurology. 2015;14:103.
  7. Wilson disease. American Liver Foundation. http://www.liverfoundation.org/abouttheliver/info/wilson/. Accessed June 22, 2017.
  8. Riggin EA. AllScripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 23, 2017.