Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (or Alpha-1 for short) is a genetic condition that can lead to lung disease in adults and liver disease at any age. It's often called "genetic COPD" or "genetic emphysema" because it is the most important known genetic factor in emphysema.
Alphas (people with Alpha-1) can get lung or liver damage even if they never smoked or drank alcohol. There's no cure, but Alpha-1 is treatable and many Alphas live full, productive lives.
You can find much more information on the website of the Alpha-1 Foundation, www.alpha-1foundation.org. The Foundation also offers free brochures and a magazine on Alpha-1.