Chris Hemsworth was handed some sobering health news while filming his new series Limitless.
The Disney+ show follows the Thor star as he explores how to ‘combat aging’ and push himself to the limit, both physically and mentally.
The star underwent a series of blood tests before chatting with Dr Peter Attia, a longevity physician. The doctor let Chris know he has a genetic predisposition for Alzheimer's.
“We’ve got every blood test one can get,” Dr Attia said in the episode. “And you’ve got two copies of APOE4. A set from your mum and a set from your dad.”
According to the National Institute on Aging, only 2 to 3% of people carry two copies of this gene, which is ‘the strongest risk factor gene for Alzheimer’s disease’.
The actor is 8 to 10 times more likely to develop the disease than the average person, and he made a heartbreaking admission on the show.
“The idea that I won’t be able to remember the life I experienced, or my wife, my kids, is probably my biggest fear,” he said.
The doctor assured Chris that the discovery doesn’t mean he will definitely get Alzheimer's, adding: “It’s my belief that if we take every step possible, we can reduce your risk to that of anyone else.”
Chris shares three children with his wife Elsa Pataky, 10-year-old India, and twins Tristan and Sasha, 8.
Later in the episode, the Extraction star spilled that the health news wasn’t completely unexpected because his grandfather suffers from Alzheimer’s.
“He either doesn’t remember who we are, you know, his grandkids, but also even his own children, for years. It’s heartbreaking,” he said.
Chris Hemsworth’s break from acting
In a new interview with Vanity Fair, the Aussie star said the unsettling health news has made him reassess his priorities.
He’s now planning to take a break from acting as soon as he fulfils press requirements for his current projects.
“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,” he explained.
“Now when I finish this [press] 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.”
He was quick to assure readers that the discovery doesn’t mean he’s done with acting forever, and adds: “It’s not like I’ve been handed my resignation and this is what it is — and it’s up in a few months. It’s not quite that situation, thankfully.”
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