Wilson’s Disease is a rare disorder that is inherited which causes accumulation of too much copper in the liver, brain or other organs of the body that are vital. The symptoms of Wilson’s disease usually begin at the age of between 12 and 23. Wilson’s disease is curable if detected early enough and the patients can live their normal lives.
Wilson’s Disease Drugs
- Zinc Acetate
Wilson’s Disease Symptoms
Wilson’s disease, like any other disease, has its symptoms. Although the symptoms of Wilson Disease are identical to those of liver diseases like hepatitis, tests can be done to identify the disease.The symptoms sometimes vary depending on which part of the body is affected by Wilson’s disease. Some of the common signs and symptoms of Wilson’s disease iinclude:
- A tendency to bruise easily
- Uncontrolled movements or muscle stiffness
- Fluid build up in the legs or the abdomen
- slurred speech
- lack of coordination
Wilson’s Disease Causes
Just like any other disease, Wilson Disease too has its cause. Wilson Disease is hereditary, and it occurs when a person gets two defective genes, one from each parent. Other people only receive only one gene, and that means they do not become ill. They just become carriers who can pass their gene onto their children.
The liver starts to retain copper at birth and may take many years before the symptoms start to show.
Wilson’s Disease Diagnosis
Diagnosing Wilson’s Disease is very challenging because its symptoms are almost identical to those of liver diseases and also the behavioral changes can be hard to link with Wilson’s Disease. There are tests and procedure that are used to diagnose Wilson’s disease which include:
- Blood and urine tests- The doctor may recommend blood and urine tests so he can be able to monitor the liver function, check the copper levels in your blood and also measure the copper in your urine.
- Eye Exam- with the help of a microscope with a high-intensity light source, the doctor can be able to check if there is golden-brown discoloring which is caused by excess copper.
- Removal of a sample of liver tissue- The doctor draws a sample of liver tissue with a thin needle to test for excess copper.
- Genetic testing- the genetic mutations causing Wilson’s disease can be identified through a blood test.
Wilson’s Disease Treatment
Chelating agents are the medications that are usually recommended for treating Wilson’s Disease because they prompt your organs to release copper into your bloodstream. The treatment prevents copper from building up again after it has been filtered by the kidney and released into the urine. The medications that are common in treating Wilson’s disease include:
- Zinc Acetate- This medication prevents the body from absorbing copper that comes from the food you eat.
- Penicillamine (Cuprimine, Depen)- This medication attaches to other chemicals in the body and helps in the removal of copper. It is a chelating agent that tends to cause very serious side effects like worsening of neurological symptoms and skin problems.
- Trientine (Syprine)- This medication also helps in removing the copper in the body but has a lower risk of severe side effects.