Wilson’s disease is a genetic disorder which causes excess copper to build up in the body. This copper build up can affect the liver and brain with serious symptoms. Named after Dr Samuel Wilson, Wilson’s disease affects about one in 3,000 people.
Copper is found in many foods and our bodies need small amounts to stay healthy. However those with Wilson’s disease are unable to get rid of excess copper, which can build up in the brain, liver, kidneys and cornea. An excess of copper in the liver can lead to liver damage and cirrhosis. It can take years for copper build up to cause damage, although symptoms often develop between the age of six and 20. Symptoms could include abdominal pain, jaundice and vomiting due to the development of hepatitis, and copper deposits in the brain could cause arm tremors, headaches, seizures and psychological symptoms such as mood swings and loss of concentration. Your GP will usually carry out blood tests and a urine test to measure your copper levels. Occasionally a biopsy of the liver may be taken or you may be referred for a scan.
The earlier treatment starts, the greater the chance of preventing long-term damage to the brain or liver. Treatment is with Penicillamine or Trientine which work to remove copper from the body. Failure to diagnose Wilson’s disease could have serious consequences, as without treatment the condition is usually fatal, often before the patient reaches the age of 40.
Are you suffering from Wilson’s disease?
If you received a delayed diagnosis or your doctor has failed to diagnose Wilson’s disease, you may be living with the consequences. Liver damage or damage to your brain may be permanent and affecting your quality of life, but you should not have to suffer in silence after medical negligence has occurred. If you have been affected, contacting a personal injury lawyer will allow you to find out whether you could be eligible to claim compensation.
Claiming compensation with Accident Advice Helpline
Here at Accident Advice Helpline, we have been in the personal injury industry for over 14 years, so you know we’re experts at what we do. Our high standards of customer service mean we’ve been endorsed by our patron, TV personality Esther Rantzen, and we offer a 100% no win, no fee* service to all our customers. So whether your treatment for Wilson’s disease has been delayed due to a late diagnosis or you have been left with permanent liver damage due to your doctor’s failure to diagnose Wilson’s disease, contact our freephone helpline today on 0800 689 0500 for confidential, no-obligation advice on your individual circumstances.