The Thor actor Chris Hemsworth has decided to take a break from performing after learning that he has a genetically considerably increased risk of having Alzheimer’s disease. In tests for his Disney+ documentary series Limitless, the 39-year-old Australian actor discovered he has two copies of the gene ApoE4, inherited from both of his parents.
Hemsworth stated in an interview with Vanity Fair that the tests validated his “worst dread,” proving he is one of just 2-3% of people who have the condition, making them up to 10 times more likely to have it than others who do not have both copies of the gene.
Hemsworth told Vanity Fair he said working on the show, in which he tests his body and explores ways to live longer and healthier:
“It’s not like I’ve been handed my resignation. really triggered something in me to want to take some time off.”
“If you look at Alzheimer’s prevention, the benefit of preventative steps is that it affects the rest of your life. It’s all about sleep management, stress management, nutrition, movement, fitness. It’s all kind of the same tools that need to be applied in a consistent way.”
He clarified that this wasn’t a diagnosis (as reported by The Guardian)
“It’s not a pre-deterministic gene, but it is a strong indication. Ten years ago, I think it was more thought of as determinant.”
The actor claimed that Peter Attia, one of the doctors on the show, and Darren Aronofsky, the creator of the documentary series, talked about how the diagnosis would be handled. Originally, it was intended for the actor to receive all of the findings of his genetic testing live on camera.
However, Aronofsky informed the actor personally after receiving the results. Hemsworth was then given a choice to remove all mentions of Alzheimer’s from the program. Still, he declined, saying he felt it was crucial to depict his inherited propensity for the rapidly worsening neurological ailment.
He aimed to raise the level of knowledge and comprehension among his audience on “preventative steps” that can be taken. He told Vanity Fair:
“My concern was I just didn’t want to manipulate it and overdramatise it, and make it into some sort of hokey grab at empathy or whatever for entertainment.”
Moreover, Hemsworth told the magazine that his grandfather was receiving Alzheimer’s treatment right now. In George Miller’s upcoming Mad Max movie Furiosa, which just finished production, Hemsworth plays a key part.
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He stated that after concluding the Limitless marketing tour and his other contracted duties, he intended to take a vacation from acting. He will go home to Byron Bay to spend time with his partner, actor Elsa Pataky, and the couple’s three children. (According to Economic Times)
“I’m going to have a good chunk of time off and just simplify. Be with the kids, be with my wife.”
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