Wilson’s disease is a disease in which excessive amount of copper gets accumulated in the brain, liver and other vital organs. Excess amount of copper is toxic in nature and can damage the organs. It is an inherited disease and is also called as hepatolenticular degeneration. If it is not treated properly, it can lead to death of the patients. If it is treated at an early stage, patients can recover from the disease well and can live normal lives. It is rare disease which affects one in three lakh people.
Symptoms associated with Wilson’s disease are many viz. drooling, fatigue, clumsiness, nausea, jaundice, loss of appetite, depression, join pain, skin rash and difficulty in walking, speaking and swallowing etc. In the treatment of Wilson’s disease, the accumulated copper is removed from the system and further building up of copper is prevented. Some of the causes associated with Wilson’s disease are as follows.
Top Causes Of Wilson’s disease
Accumulation of Copper
Copper plays a great role in the development of bones, nerves, collagen and melanin. Copper is absorbed from the food and the excess amount of copper is excreted through bile.
In the condition of Wilson’s disease, the excess copper is not excreted. It gets accumulated leading to a life threatening condition. This occurs when there is a problem in the protein responsible for secreting the excess copper out of the body.
Genetic reason is considered to be one of the reasons behind Wilson’s disease. It is believed that genetic mutation can cause accumulation of copper in the body. Genes responsible for causing Wilson’s disease is passed from one generation to the next generation. Mutation of ATPL7B gene present on the chromosome 13 is found to be the responsible for causing Wilson’s disease.
Inheritance of Defective Genes
If the child inherits two defective genes from the parents, then he or she is likely to develop Wilson’s disease. Two copies of the genes are required to be inherited, one from each of the parents for development of this disease. But if the child inherits only one gene from the parents, then he or she becomes a carrier of Wilson’s disease and can pass the defective gene to his or her next generation.
At the time of birth, copper starts getting retained in the liver cells. It may take several years before the symptoms start appearing and the disease is developed.
It is thus becomes difficult to diagnose the disease even. Sometimes, the symptoms may look like that of hepatitis and in some situations, when the symptoms are developed, they can be subtle. It appears between the ages of 6 and 45 years.
Abnormal Liver Cells
When the capacity of the liver cells to store copper is exhausted, copper gets spilled into the bloodstream and gets deposited in other parts of the body. This accumulation of excess copper normally occurs in the brain. In the disease free condition, the excess amount of copper is passed into the bile but in the condition of Wilson’s disease, it gets accumulated.