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Who are some famous people suffering from Wilson's disease? Do any famous people's children suffer from it?

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Steph Müller eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Howard Dell, a former actor, sportsman and Olympian, was diagnosed with Wilson's Disease in 2006. He is a former professional football and basketball player, and is also a nationally ranked decathlete in the USA, despite having been born in Canada. As an actor, he has made appearances in a number of TV shows, including That 70s Show, LA Heat and The Young and the Restless. After his diagnosis, he received a liver transplant which saved his life.

That is the only example that I have been able to find of a well-known person who has suffered from Wilson's Disease. However, since Wilson's Disease is an unusual condition, it is likely that it is often misdiagnosed. There could be many other examples of famous people who have had this disease, but been told that their problems were caused by a different condition.

msteacher203 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I have searched as well, and cannot find any immediate answers. However, there may be a reason for this. Since there is no reliable test for diagnosing the disease, many people who have Wilson's Disease are subsequently not identified. Some patients only learn about having it after a relative has been diagnosed with it.

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mkcapen1 | Student

Wilson's Disease is a genetically transcended disorder.  It effects many aspects of the human body but is most closely associated with neurological disorders.  It is caused by excessive accumulation of copper in the person's system.  Accumulation primarily occurs in the liver and the brain.  Breakdown in the liver results in hepatitiss, cirrhosis of the liver and jaundice.  Some patients, about half, develop neurological disorders.  The disease is named after British physician Dr. Samuel Alexander Kinnier Wilson.

I searched dilligently to find famous people with the disease but have not been able to locate any.