Wilsons Disease Pedigree

About Wilsons Disease

Wilson disease is a genetic disorder that is fatal unless treated before serious illness from copper poisoning happens. Wilson disease affects about one in 30,000 people in the world. The genetic defect causes a large amount of copper in the liver or brain.

Small amounts of copper are as essential as vitamins. Copper is present in most foods and most people have much more copper than they need. People who don't have Wilson's Disease urinate copper without even knowing it, but people with Wilson's Disease can't.

Copper begins to grow immediately after birth. The copper attacks the liver or brain, resulting in hepatitis, psychiatric, or neurologic symptoms. The symptoms usually appear in late childhood. Patients may have abdominal swelling, vomiting of blood, and abdominal pain. They may have difficulty walking, talking and swallowing. They may develop all degrees of mental illness including homicidal or suicidal behavior, depression, and aggression. Women may have problems with fertilization. No matter how the disease begins, it is always fatal if it is not diagnosed and treated.

The first part of the body that copper affects is the liver. In about half of Wilson disease patients the liver is the only affected organ. When hepatitis develops, patients are often thought to have infectious hepatitis or infectious mononucleosis when they actually have Wilson disease hepatitis. Testing for Wilson disease should be performed in individuals with unexplained liver tests.

How a Pedigree can help with counseling

A pedigree can help for-see if your child will have Wilson's disease. If a parent is worried about having Wilson's Disease they should see a counselor. Counselors can help.

Pedigree Broken Down

Carriers of Wilson's Disease

1st Generation
Aunts and Uncles on both sides of the family have a 50% chance of having Wilson's Disease.
Mother and Father are both carriers.
2nd Generation
Cousins have 25% chance of carrying on both sides.
Siblings have 50% chance of carrying 1/4 will actually get it
You carry it
Your spouse has 1/100 chance of carrying
3rd Generation
Nieces and Nephews have a 25% of carrying 1/800 chance of actually getting it
100% chance that your children will carry 1/200 will actually get it
4th Generation
Grandchildren will have a 50% chance of carrying