Cognitive Effects

Little information is available on the cognitive sequelae of Wilson's disease in children and adolescents, although it appears that these patients experience a decline in school performance. The disorder affects several parts of the central nervous system (CNS) including the cerebellum, brain stem, thalamus, subcortical white matter, and (most significantly) basal ganglia. In adults, Wilson's disease is associated with cognitive deficits and a subcortical dementia (Cummings 1986). Controlled studies comparing adult patients with Wilson's disease with healthy control subjects are beginning to delineate a broad range of cognitive impairments in patients with neurological symptoms, specifically in the areas of memory, executive skills, and visuospatial processing (Seniow et al. 2002).

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