Wilson disease is a genetic disorder that allows copper to build up in the body and cause damage.
To work well, our body needs a small amount copper. Copper is a metallic element. It helps keep the immune system healthy, build strong bones and form red blood cells. We absorb copper from a variety of food such a nuts, seeds, oysters and liver. Normally, our bodies regularly dispose of copper to prevent it from accumulating in the body.
Some children are unable to get rid of copper. This inability is a disorder called Wilson disease. The excess copper is stored in the main organs, such as the liver, brain, kidneys and eyes. In the liver, extra copper causes damage and scarring. This causes the liver to stop working correctly.
Symptoms are more likely in children 10 years and older. In Wilson disease, copper usually accumulates in the liver and brain. This is why symptoms are mainly liver disease and neurological problems.
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