Welcome to Alpha-1 Awareness, a UK Charity that Supports people with AATD

AATD or Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency is a lack of the protein alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) which is produced in the liver. The main job of AAT is to protect the lungs. A deficiency can lead to life-threatening lung and/or liver disease.

The first signs and symptoms of lung disease caused by alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency usually appear between ages 20 and 50.
The symptoms are:

  • shortness of breath following mild activity
  • reduced ability to exercise
  • wheezing

About ten percent of infants with the deficiency show signs of liver damage at birth. Fifteen percent of adult Alphas also develop liver disease.

Only a small fraction of alpha-1 antitrypsin deficient patients in the United Kingdom are aware of the causes of their condition.

Our charity is run by non-paid volunteers who all are either affected by Alpha-1 or have a family member who is. We all have a connection to Alpha-1 and this isn’t our day job. We have a real passion for the charity and for supporting people who are affected, their families and friends.

This website was created so that people can learn more about Alpha-1 and how to get support.  We produce our own booklets which people can download and view digitally (click here) and even request that a set be sent to them in the post for free. We have a private Facebook Group where we help to support people in a safe environment. If you would prefer one on one support, then you can email us directly on ‘support@alpha1.uk‘ or use our Contacts Us Form. We care, we want to help those affected, their families and their friends. We are also proud to be the only UK charity that is donating money to go directly to the research of a cure.





We would like to thank all those that raise funds for us, without you, we would not have a charity & we would not be able to support those affected with Alpha-1 and their families.
Below are 2 events that are happening in 2019, if you are interested in doing a run in London or a hike in Derbyshire, click on their links to learn more.

TrekFest ~ The Peaks

Date: Saturday 31st August 2019
Location: Hope Valley, Derbyshire (S33 8RZ)

TrekFest is the UK’s ultimate trekking challenge. Take on an epic trek through open countryside in the Peak District National Park, Derbyshire walking side by side with hundreds of like-minded individuals all with the same goal in mind – to cross the finish line.

If you would like to take this trek on along with us, click here to learn more.


Please take a moment to read what our fundraisers are doing and if you are able, to donate something to them.

Pauline Laybourne

“On 17 August 2019, my husband Colin Laybourne and our friend Rae Davies will be walking along the Llanberis Path to the summit of Snowdon, North Wales to raise much needed money and awareness of Alpha 1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (AATD). “


To learn more, click here.



 Latest News


Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency makes Parliament; Questions in the House

For the first time in nearly a decade, Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (AATD) has been mentioned in the House of Commons, by Mark Pawsey, Conservative MP for Rugby. His much-welcomed question came as part of the “Business Questions to the Leader
Read More

Professor Lomas to join UCL

Professor David Lomas is set to join University College London as Dean of the Faculty of Medical Sciences and Chair of Medicine from 1st January 2013. Professor Lomas is Professor of Respiratory Biology in the University of Cambridge and Honorary Con
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Atlas of Variation in Healthcare

The NHS has published an Atlas of Variation in Healthcare for People with Respiratory Disease. Over 6 million people in England suffer from asthma or COPD, conditions which inflict a heavy burden on patients and carers and account for a significant p
Read More

Portable device could boost number of lung transplants

A new device that can store and transport donor lungs has been developed by researchers in Germany. The Organ Care System is the first portable device that uses the process of normothermic perfusion, which uses the principle of keeping the lungs at b
Read More

epetition for better treatment

An epetition has been created by Dr Ravi Mahadeva, the chairman of the Alpha-1 Alliance. Dr Mahadeva writes: “We’ve just launched an online petition to the Department of Health calling on the Government to nationally commission a specialised se
Read More

Cambridge University & GSK

A new collaboration based at the University of Cambridge will aim to discover and develop new medicines to treat liver disease. The partnership, between the University and global pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), will build upon the work
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Grifols Safety Trials

Grifols today said it plans to initiate a safety trial later this year of a new inhaled formulation for treating emphysema due to alpha1-proteinase inhibitor deficiency. The Barcelona, Spain-based company said it would initiate a safety trial of a no
Read More

New Board Members

Alan and Emma Wooler have agreed to join the Board of the Charity. They have been keen supporters of the organisation for some time and they bring a depth of personal experience of bringing up an Alpha child. The existing board welcome Alan and Emma
Read More

This website is run by Alphas and their carers. We do our very best to ensure that all information shown here is up-to-date and accurate. However, you should always consult your own GP or other medical professional if you have the slightest concerns about your health.