In an exclusive interview, Chris Hemsworth told Vanity Fair that he is eight to 10 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.
Hemsworth said that while filming the docuseries “Limitless,” he learned that his DNA contained two copies of a gene, increasing his chances of developing the progressive neurologic disorder.
APOE4 genes passed on from both his father and mother make the “Thor” actor more likely to develop Alzheimer’s in the future, according to Vanity Fair.
The 39-year-old actor took the news in stride, emphasizing that he wanted to spend more time with his kids and family.
“It really triggered something in me to want to take some time off. And since we finished the show, I’ve been completing the things I was already contracted to do. Now when I finish this tour this week, I’m going home and I’m going to have a good chunk of time off and just simplify. Be with the kids, be with my wife,” Hemsworth told Vanity Fair.
The Avengers star said that the news has made him aware of his mortality and how to prepare for it.
“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,” said Hemsworth.
While Hemsworth mentioned taking a break from acting, he is now more comfortable saying no to certain films.
“Now I’m much more comfortable saying no and much more at ease with it all. I’m very thankful for that. I’m glad I’m not having this conversation 20 years from now and my kids have grown up and left my home.”
According to the Mayo Clinic, Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurologic disorder that causes the brain to shrink and brain cells to die. Currently, there is no treatment that cures or alters the disease in the brain.
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