Chris Hemsworth reveals he has genes that put him at risk of Alzheimer’s
While filming the docuseries ‘Limitless,’ a genetic test revealed Hemsworth has a high chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease
While working on the National Geographic docuseries “Limitless,” Chris Hemsworth underwent a series of genetic tests to uncover any potential health threats in his future. Hemsworth’s DNA revealed what he described as his “biggest fear,” per Vanity Fair.
Within Hemsworth’s DNA are two copies of the gene APOE4 — a gene which is linked to an increased risked of Alzheimer’s disease. According to a 2021 study done by the National Institutes of Health, 1 in 4 people carry a single copy of the APOE4 gene, but only 2% to 3% of the population carry two copies.
Hemsworth’s results were given to him during a phone call from “Limitless” creator Darren Aronofsky.
“I hung up the phone and my parents were there, at the time. They were like, ‘What was that about?’ And I told them, and then they had a bunch of questions. I had a bunch of questions, but no one answered them. I wish I’d had a more intense follow-up with it because I didn’t really know what to think. I was like, ‘Am I supposed to be worried? Is this concerning?’” Hemsworth said in an interview with Vanity Fair.
The findings are not a hard diagnosis, but with a copy of the gene from both parents, Hemsworth’s chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease increases 8% to 10%.
“There was an intensity to navigating it,” Hemsworth told Vanity Fair. “Most of us, we like to avoid speaking about death in the hope that we’ll somehow avoid it. We all have this belief that we’ll figure it out. Then to all of a sudden be told some big indicators are actually pointing to this as the route which is going to happen, the reality of it sinks in. Your own mortality.”
Hemsworth is far from alone in being at risk of the disease. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, six million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. That number is projected to reach 13 million by 2050. Each year, one in three seniors die from Alzheimers disease.
In order to combat the potential onset of the disease, Hemsworth is working on preventive measures. In the meantime, the actor will continue his work, saying he is “completely open” to appearing in another “Thor” movie, per Vanity Fair.
“Limitless” is available to stream on Disney+.