1Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon.
Wilson's disease (WD) can present with liver disease, neurological deficits, and psychiatric disorders. Results of genetic prevalence studies suggest that WD might be much more common than previously estimated. Early recognition of WD remains challenging because it is a great imitator and requires a high index of suspicion for correct and timely diagnosis. Early diagnosis of WD is crucial to ensure that patients can be started on adequate treatment. In association with other clinical and biochemical tests, liver biopsy results and molecular genetic testing can also be used for diagnosing WD. Medical therapy is effective for most patients; liver transplant can rescue those with acute liver failure or those with advanced liver disease who fail to respond to or discontinue medical therapy. Although novel therapies, such as gene therapy, are on the horizon, screening and prevention of delayed diagnosis remains paramount.