Wilson's Disease Symptoms & Causes

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Contact the Center for Childhood Liver Disease

What causes Wilson’s disease?

It’s caused by an inherited genetic defect.

What are the symptoms of Wilson's disease?

The symptoms of Wilson's disease are highly variable and can appear as early as age 5:

  • jaundice
  • abdominal pain and/or swelling
  • easy bruising or bleeding
  • enlargement of the liver and spleen
  • anemia
  • softening of the bones
  • liver failure
  • Kayser-Fleischer rings (brown rings of copper in the outer part of the eye that can be detected through an eye exam)

Once the disease begins to affect the nervous system, other symptoms may begin to appear in your child, including:

  • tremors
  • difficulty walking
  • speech and language problems
  • changes in behavior
  • difficulty with motor skills (such as writing, talking and balancing)
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