New Research Project Examining the Role of Exercise in Alpha-1 and COPD

December 21, 2015 Alpha1 Admin Comments Off

In collaboration with Dublin City University Sport (DCU Sport) and MedEx Wellness, the Alpha One Foundation is delighted to announce an exciting new research project which is being co-funded by the Irish Research Council.

Eóin Durkan from the School of Health and Human Performance in Dublin City University (DCU) in collaboration with the Alpha One Foundation and the Irish Research Council will examine the use of exercise in the treatment of individuals with Alpha-1 and COPD as well as find out how physically active people with Alpha-1 are. 

The many benefits of regular exercise apply in particular to those with Alpha-1. Research has shown that regular physical activity can greatly enhance the management and treatment of many chronic conditions, including the lung problems often associated with Alpha-1. In addition exercise can improve the health of your heart, aid weight loss, decrease exacerbations (infections) and improve quality of life and general wellbeing.

In the new year we hope to offer medically supervised exercise classes in DCU Sport to Alpha-1 patients. The exercise classes will take place in DCU and are being run by MedEx Wellness. Founded in 2006, MedEx Wellness is a unique partnership between DCU Sport, the School of Health and Human Performance and local health care providers. It offers medically supervised group exercise classes involving a mixture of aerobic and resistance training in a relaxed, friendly and supportive environment. All staff are highly trained and experienced in helping people with chronic illnesses to exercise safely and become fitter, healthier and better able to enjoy an active lifestyle.

We require participants of all ages and with different forms of Alpha-1 to take part. You do not need to have any lung disease; all we ask is that you commit to attending DCU on two separate occasions for a series of tests, including a walk test and some tests of your lung function. Following completion of these tests, we will invite you to attend the supervised exercise classes in DCU. The decision to attend is entirely yours and may be based on where you live and how convenient it is for you to travel to DCU twice a week. If you do not live close to DCU, we would still like to hear from you. Our ultimate goal is to design a home programme for people with Alpha-1 and we need participants who are based outside of North Dublin so we can measure their physical activity levels during their daily lives. We then hope to retest all participants after 6 and 12 weeks to see if there is any improvement in your health and fitness following the exercise classes. We are also looking for individuals without Alpha-1, but who may have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD to take part.

If you would like to know more or are interested in taking part, please contact Eóin Durkan at or call 01-7008470.