Chris Hemsworth: Alzheimer’s risk makes ‘Thor’ actor take career break


BBC News Brazil

Actor Chris Hemsworth, 39, says he’s taken a break from acting after discovering he has a higher-than-normal risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. The Thor movie star made the discovery after undergoing tests during production of his Disney+ documentary series Limitless.

The Australian told Vanity Fair magazine that tests confirmed his “biggest fear” and that he will now take “preventive measures”. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia and can cause problems with memory and communication.

Hemsworth discovered that he has two copies of the ApoE4 gene, one from his mother and one from his father, making him eight to 10 times more likely to develop the disease than those without both copies of the gene. About 2-3% of the population carry two copies of the gene.

“It’s not like I’ve tendered my resignation,” Hemsworth said. “If you look at preventing Alzheimer’s, the benefit of preventive measures is that they affect the rest of your life.”

“It’s all about managing sleep, stress, nutrition, movement, fitness,” he continued, justifying that he decided to slow down because the test result “really triggered something internally” in him.

The Limitless series sees Hemsworth testing his body’s limits and exploring ways to live longer and healthier.

The actor highlighted that he was not diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, but was warned about his genetic propensity. “It’s not a predetermining gene, but it’s a strong indication,” he explained. “Ten years ago, I think it was considered more determinant.”

Hemsworth stated that the initial idea for the series was for him to receive all the results of his genetic tests in front of the camera. However, series creator Darren Aronofsky decided to privately share the results as soon as they arrived.

The actor was presented with the possibility that any reference to the test and Alzheimer’s would be removed from the show, but he decided to keep the information to promote awareness.

“My concern stemmed from the fact that I just didn’t want to alter or over-dramatize (the result) into some kind of hokey empathy tool or anything else formatted for entertainment,” said the Australian, adding that his grandfather had been diagnosed. with Alzheimer’s.

The actor will soon be seen in “Furosa”, a spin-off of “Mad Max”, whose filming concluded earlier this month. Hemsworth said that he will take a break from his career after the tour in support of Limitless and the delivery of another work already contracted.

He will return to his home in Byron Bay, Australia, to spend more time with his partner, actress Elsa Pataky, and their three children.

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