Mania as the first manifestation of Wilson’s disease


  • The authors of this paper do not have any commercial associations that might pose a conflict of interest in connection with this manuscript.

Corresponding author: Mariana Spitz, MD, Rua Paulo César de Andrade, 200/402, Laranjeiras, Rio de Janeiro CEP 22221-090, RJ, Brazil. Fax: +55 21 2274 4530; e-mail:


Background:  Although mental changes are frequent in Wilson’s disease, severe psychiatric disorders occur uncommonly and usually accompany the neurological picture. There are few reports in the literature of Wilson’s disease patients with typical bipolar affective disorder (BPAD).

Case report:  The authors report the case of a patient with Wilson’s disease whose initial manifestation was a manic episode followed by depression. Tremor in the upper limbs appeared one year after the onset of symptoms. The diagnosis of Wilson’s disease was established three years after the first symptoms appeared, based on the neuropsychiatric picture, the detection of Kayser–Fleischer rings and the results of diagnostic tests indicating chronic liver disease and copper excess. ATP7B genotyping and magnetic resonance imaging of the brain with proton spectroscopy study were also performed. The patient became asymptomatic two years after starting treatment with penicillamine and remained non-symptomatic controlled during the eight-year follow-up period, without any specific treatment for the BPAD.

Conclusions:  To our knowledge, this is a singular report of a case of Wilson’s disease in which a manic episode preceded the onset of neurological symptoms. The association between Wilson’s disease and bipolar disorder is discussed.