News/Events

‘The majority of people carrying this gene have no idea’

Around 250,000 of Irish people are carriers of the gene causing Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, a genetic disorder that can affect the lungs, liver and skin and can be deadly if undiagnosed. Kevin Colfer and his sisters talk about their experiences with the condition, and why they want to increase awareness.

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February Marathon Challenge in aid of Alpha-1

Family and friends of one of the original Alpha-1 warriors Josephine McGuirk completed a unique marathon challenge for the month of February. This goal was to raise awareness of Alpha-1 and to fundraise for Alpha-1 Foundation Ireland.

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Irish Alpha-1 Pioneer Wins Prestigious National Award

The Health Research Board (HRB) of Ireland has announced Gerry McElvaney, Consultant Respiratory Physician at Beaumont Hospital and Professor of Medicine at RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences, as the winner of the prestigious HRB Impact Award 2021.

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New Irish Alpha-1 Research in 2020

Irish Alpha-1 research published last month in “Thorax”, one of the world’s leading respiratory medicine journals, highlights the crucial importance of patient registries for rare conditions.  

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Coronavirus Update

COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways.  It is caused by a virus called coronavirus.

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Launch of Easy Guide to Rare Diseases in Ireland

An Easy Guide to Rare Diseases in Ireland was launched on February 24th in the Mansion House in Dublin.  The guide is designed for the general public, healthcare professionals and the government.  It is the culmination of a lot of hard work by people across the rare disease sector, particularly...

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Report from Alpha-1 Conference 2019

Alpha-1 Conference 2019 took place in the Marino Institute of Education in Dublin on Friday, October 25th.  The theme for Conference 2019 was “How Can We Increase Awareness?” and a diverse range of speakers highlighted this important goal.

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Health Research Charities Ireland (HRCI) Research Conference

Alpha-1 Foundation Ireland attended the Health Research Charities Ireland (HRCI, formerly MRCG) research conference and 21st birthday celebration in Dublin on September 18th. It was a conference to showcase all of the patient-focused research being carried out by the 37 member organisations of HRCI.

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Info Centre

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-1 Foundation Ireland provides free testing for Alpha-1 as part of a national screening programme which is funded by the HSE.  It is a simple blood test.  For more details ring 01-8093871 or email alpha1@rcsi.ie

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