Alpha-1 was featured in a US health and wellness series 'Health Body Healthy Mind' in 2013. This episode which explores the cause, symptoms and treatment of Alpha-1 also features interviews with Alpha-1 patients in the US including John Walsh, CEO of the US Alpha-1 Foundation and his twin brother Fred.

 

The Science Squad featured a special report on Alpha-1 and COPD on RTE1 on December 1st, 2014. The show visited the Alpha One Foundation in RCSI Beaumont Hospital to highlight the high prevalence of Alpha-1 in Ireland and how it can lead to serious lung problems in affected individuals.  It featured an interview with Professor McElvaney who is an Alpha-1 specialist as well as 2 inspirational Alpha-1 patient stories from Stephen Smith and Josephine McGuirk.  A huge thank you to Stephen and Josephine for sharing their stories and bringing Alpha-1 to such a large nationwide audience.

Researchers from the Alpha One Foundation, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and Harvard University have made a major breakthrough in identifying people who have an increased risk of developing COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) due to a combination of 1 copy of the Z Alpha-1 gene (known as MZ carriers) and exposure to cigarette smoke. 

250 individuals from 51 Irish families took part in the research study over 7 years which set out to determine the risk of COPD for people who carry one normal and abnormal Alpha-1 gene. This piece has featured in a variety of local and national newspapers (for example Irish Times, Irish Independent, and Irish Examiner), radio stations around the country, and was featured on a segment on TV3 news on February 11th 2014. 

Alpha-1 patient Josephine McGuirk and Professor Gerry McElvaney were guests on national station TV3's morning show Ireland:AM on February 3rd, 2011.  This was an excellent discussion about Alpha-1 and the importance of participating in clinical trials.  Well done to Josephine for doing such an excellent interview on live TV.

What is Alpha-1 Antitrypsin?
Alpha-1 antitrypsin is a vital protein produced by the liver to protect the lungs. It provides protection from the harmful effects of infections and inhaled irritants, particularly tobacco smoke. It can be easily measured by a simple blood test. 
What is Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency?
Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (Alpha-1) is a genetic condition which, after cystic fibrosis, is the commonest genetic disorder in Ireland. It severely affects more than 15,000 people, with another 250,000 carriers also at risk of lung and liver disease on the island of Ireland. It is a proven genetic risk factor for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
How Do I Get Tested?
The Alpha One Foundation provides free testing for Alpha-1 as part of a national screening programme which is funded by the HSE. For more details ring 01-8093871 or email alpha1@rcsi.ie.