Wilson's Disease: The Effects of Copper Toxicity in the Body

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Dr. Samuel Alexander Kinnier Wilson was a British neurologist who first described a pathological change of the brain and liver in 1912. Wilson's work was based off of different reports and studies from many studies including a German neurologist by the name of Dr Carl Westphal in 1883, who termed these changes "pseudosclerosis", by a British neurologist named Sir William Gowers in 1888, who similarly identified the combination of neurologic and liver disease (Rosencrantz and Schilsky, 2011, pg. 246) and by Dr Adolph Strümpell in 1898, who noted hepatic cirrhosis. In 1948, a professor by the name John N. Cumings made the link with copper accumulation in both the liver and the brain (News-Medical, 2014). Copper is an essential trace…show more content…
It is located on the right side of the body under the lower ribs, and is divided into four main lobes. The four lobes are the right lobe and left lobe, located on the anterior view of the liver, and the caudate lobe and quadrate lobe, located on the visceral surface and posterior view of the liver (Netter, 2011, pg. 277). The hepatic artery, which comes from the heart, carries oxygenated blood to the liver, and the portal vein, which brings blood from the small intestines that is rich in nutrients, also goes to the liver. These blood vessels divide into smaller vessels, and eventually end in capillaries, within the thousands of lobules of the liver. The lobule is the functional unit of the liver. Each lobule is made of hepatocytes, and as blood passes through these hepatocytes, they are able to monitor, add, and remove different substances from it. The blood then leaves the liver using the hepatic vein, which returns the blood to the heart. This blood is then ready to be pumped to the rest of the body. Each lobule has a center canal which is used to drain sinusoids, a mixture of oxygenated and deoxygenated blood from the hepatic artery and the portal vein. (Bowen, 2003) The liver’s most important functions include the removal and excretion of wastes and toxins found within the body (Mehter and Sateesha, 2002). Many substances can enter the blood supply by either metabolic

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