An inherited disorder of copper metabolism that results in an abnormal accumulation of copper in the body. Although the accumulation of copper begins at birth, symptoms of the disorder do not appear until later in life, between the ages of 6 and 40. A diagnostic feature of the disease is a Kayser-Fleischer ring, a deep copper-
colored ring around the edge of the cornea that
represents copper deposits in the eye. The main clinical consequence of Wilson disease for most affected persons is liver disease. In other patients the first symptoms are nervous system or psychiatric symptoms or both and include tremor, rigidity, drooling, difficulty with speech, abrupt personality change, grossly inappropriate behavior and inexplicable deterioration of school or other work, neurosis, and psychosis. Without proper treatment, Wilson disease is always fatal, usually by age 30. If treatment is begun early enough, symptomatic recovery is usually complete, and a life of normal length and quality can be expected. Wilson disease is inherited in an autosomal recessive manner and is due to mutation of the ATP7B gene on chromosome 13. The ATP7B gene encodes ATPase, a
copper-transporting beta polypeptide.
Women. A late 20th century creation. A feminist spelling to avoid the suffix men.
The trachea, a tube-like portion of the respiratory (breathing) tract that connects the larynx (the voice box) with the lungs. Each time we inhale (breathe in), air goes into our nose or mouth, then through the larynx, down the trachea, and into our lungs. When we exhale (breathe out), the air goes out the other […]
- Wing bone
Popular and familiar term for the scapula, the flat triangular bone at the back of the shoulder. The word “scapula” (with the accent on the first syllable) is a steal straight from the Latin. The Romans always employed the plural “scapulae”, the shoulder blades. Because the shoulder blade resembles the blade of a trowel (a […]
- Wisdom tooth
One of the large molars in the very back of the jaw. The human jaw has changed in size over the course of evolution, and wisdom teeth are no longer needed, but they continue to erupt in many individuals. If the jaw is too small to accommodate them, they may cause pain or crowd other […]
- Witch's milk
A folk term for the milk that often comes from the breast of a newborn baby. This temporary phenomenon is due to stimulation of the baby’s breasts by the mother’s hormones that cross the placenta during pregnancy. The ability of the baby’s breasts to respond in this fashion is a mark of baby born at […]