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Chris Hemsworth receives ‘strong indication’ of a genetic predisposition to Alzheimer’s disease while filming a new show


Chris Hemsworth embarked on a personal and physically demanding journey for his new series “Limitless,” which ultimately led to a sobering discovery.

The ‘Thor’ actor, 39, learns in one episode of the Disney+/National Geographic limited series – in which he explores ways to extend his lifespan and fight aging – that he has two copies of the APOE4 gene, one from each of his parents. , meaning he has an increased predisposition to developing Alzheimer’s disease.

“They took all my blood work and did some tests and the plan was to tell me all the results on camera and then talk about how you can improve this and that,” Hemsworth shared with Vanity Fair in an article published Thursday . “And Peter Attia, who is the longevity doctor in that episode and oversees much of the show, called [“Limitless” creator] Darren [Aronofsky] and said, ‘I don’t want to tell him this on camera. We need to have an off-side talk and see if he wants this on the show.” It was pretty shocking because he called me and told me.

Upon hearing the news, Hemsworth said he had “a lot of questions,” adding later that he “didn’t really know what to make of it. I was like, ‘Should I be worried? Is this worrying?’”

He also said the show then “became even more relevant and important to me, even more poignant than I ever imagined,” adding that APOE4 “isn’t a pre-deterministic gene, but it’s a strong indication. Ten years ago, according to considered more decisive.”

The new information, which, according to Hemsworth, makes him “eight to 10 times more likely” to eventually develop Alzheimer’s, naturally made him think about death and his own mortality.

“There was an intensity to navigating through it. Most of us like to avoid talking about death in the hope that we will somehow avoid it,” he told Vanity Fair. “We all have faith that we will work it out. Then all of a sudden you get to hear that some big indicators are actually pointing to this being the route that’s going to happen, the reality of it sinks in.

“Limitless”, in which the Marvel star performs various stunts and practices to extend and improve his life, is basically about death in the last episode.

“I think that’s my favorite episode. There, I worked with the death doula and people who work in palliative and end-of-life care, and then talked to a number of people who were or coming to the end of their days — even younger people who were diagnosed with cancer and didn’t have long to live,” he shared.

“Doing an episode about death and facing your own mortality made me think, ‘Oh God, I’m not ready to go,'” he later added. “I want to sit and be in this space with a greater sense of stillness and gratitude. And then you start talking about kids and family and you say, ‘Oh my god, they’re getting older, they’re growing up, and I keep slapping another movie on top of another movie.’ Before you know it they’ll be 18 and out of the house, and I’ve missed the window.”

In preparing the show for broadcast, Hemsworth also said that he was “offered a version of the episode that we weren’t talking about.” [his discovered genetic predisposition to Alzheimer’s]”, but that the prospect of helping others helped him overcome any hesitation.

“I thought, ‘No, look, if this is a motivator for people to take better care of themselves and also understand that there are steps you can take, then great.’ My concern was that I just didn’t want to manipulate and overdramatize it, and turn it into some kind of lame joke of empathy or whatever for entertainment.

Hemsworth, who last appeared as the MCU’s God of Thunder in his fourth solo outing in this summer’s “Thor: Love and Thunder,” will appear next year in another sequel, “Extraction 2.” He is also working on a yet-to-be-revealed role in 2024’s “Furiosa,” starring Anya Taylor-Joy, set in the “Mad Max” universe.

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