Thor actor Chris Hemsworth has revealed he is at greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease in a new interview, though he admitted he isn’t shocked by the revelation.
The Aussie star made the discovery during National Geographic’s Limitless with Chris Hemsworth, where he underwent genetic testing.
In episode five of the TV of the show where Hemsworth pushes his body to beat stress, fight back ageing and maximise performance, he finds out the news.
In ‘Memory’, the actor is told by a doctor that he has two copies of the APOE4 gene, which is linked to an increased risk of developing the disease.
Hemsworth is told that he is eight to ten more times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than the average person in the future.
Speaking to Vanity Fair about his discovery, Hemsworth said: “They took all my bloodwork and did a bunch of tests and the plan was to on-camera tell me all the results and then talk about how you can improve this and that.
“And Peter Attia, who is the longevity doctor in that episode, and overseeing a lot of the show, called [show creator] Darren [Aronofsky] and said, ‘I don’t want to tell him this on camera. We need to have an off-side conversation and see if he even wants this to be in the show.’ It was pretty shocking because he called me up and he told me.”
In the interview, Hemsworth revealed how the show became more important to him following what the doctors told him.
He continued: “The show, which initially was an exploration of longevity and, of course, should be fun, became even more relevant and important for me, even more poignant than I ever thought it would be.
“It was a really good catalyst to dive into everything I needed to be doing in either the prevention front or the management front or however you want to classify it. It’s not a pre-deterministic gene, but it is a strong indication.”
Despite his discovery, Hemsworth admitted it wasn’t a shock, as his grandfather has Alzheimer’s.
“My concern was I just didn’t want to manipulate it and overdramatise it, and make it into some sort of hokey grab at empathy, or whatever, for entertainment,” he said.
Hemsworth is now using the discovery as an opportunity to make positive changes in his life, as he realises the importance of preventative steps.