Wilson’s disease

Wilson’s disease is a genetic disorder in which you have a higher than normal amount of copper in your body.  The copper than accumulates in organs including your liver, brain and eyes.

Facts about Wilson’s disease

Copper is a nutrient required to help your body grow. It is not made by your body and must be taken in (absorbed) from your diet. With normal absorption and removal (excretion in faeces and urine), a healthy adult might have around 100 milligrammes of copper in their body. Fortunately, your body only requires copper in very small amounts. Known as a trace mineral, copper is essential for simple metabolic processes, for the development of the brain and central nervous system, for the formation of connective tissue that binds the parts of your body together and for building your bones. Copper also helps to convert iron, another trace mineral, into a form that is more easily absorbed, as well as helping to transport it around your body.
Wilson’s disease is caused by a gene. This is a segment of DNA containing the instructions for making up your body. Genes are packaged in a sequence on strands of DNA called chromosomes which are found in the nucleus of your body cells. All of us carry up to 30,000 individual genes. All your body cells should contain a gene inherited from your mother and one from your father. We generally carry the same genes as each other, but around 1% of genes will differ between people. These small differences are what contribute to each person’s unique physical traits or characteristics.