Menkes disease is a genetic condition that affects how your body uses copper. You need copper to help body systems work as they should, including your: Nervous system (brain and nerves). Bones. Hair. Skin. Blood vessels. Menkes disease can lead to severe damage to your child’s nervous system. Children with the disease generally can’t grow and thrive, and the disease is fatal. Because crinkly hair is a common early sign, some people call it kinky hair disease. There isn’t a cure for Menkes disease. Receiving treatment with copper within the first four weeks of life may improve symptoms and extend your child’s lifespan.