Science

Chris Hemsworth on discovering he has a rare genetic makeup that significantly increases his risk of Alzheimer’s disease: “My biggest fear”

Chris Hemsworth’s new show with National Geographic disney plus “The mission is to live better longer.” But because of that show, he’s come face-to-face with his “greatest fear” — that he might develop Alzheimer’s disease.

During an episode of the show, the 39-year-old “Thor” actors Genetic testing was done to learn more about their current and future health. It turns out that Hemsworth has a rare genetic makeup with two copies of the APO4 gene, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer. Alzheimer’s disease,

“ApoE4 is the strongest risk factor gene for Alzheimer’s disease,” says a 2021 study by the National Institutes of Health, “although inheriting ApoE4 does not mean a person will definitely develop the disease.”

While about 25% of the population has one copy of the gene, only 2% to 3% have two, according to that research.

“The idea that I won’t be able to remember the life that I’ve experienced or my wife, my children, that’s probably my biggest fear,” Hemsworth says in the show’s fifth episode.

During filming, the show’s longevity doctor Peter Attia first told Hemsworth about the find off-camera, Hemsworth told Vanity Fair. That conversation, Hemsworth said, “was quite shocking.”

He told Vanity Fair, “It was a very brief conversation, all things considered. I hung up and my parents were there at the time.” “…I told them, and then they had a bunch of questions. I had a bunch of questions, but nobody answered them. I wish I’d followed up with this more thoroughly because I really didn’t.” Tha knew what to think. I was like, ‘Should I be worried? Is this related?’

Atia tells Hemsworth in the episode that he is about 8 to 10 times more likely than the general population to develop Alzheimer’s. According to the National Institutes of Health, it’s also associated with early onset, which can occur anytime between someone’s 30s and mid-60s.

“It was an intensity to navigate,” Hemsworth reflected to Vanity Fair. Most of us like to avoid talking about death in the hope that we’ll somehow avoid it. We all believe that That we’ll figure it out.” , “Then all of a sudden to be told that some big indicator is actually pointing This One sinks into the reality of what is going to happen. your own mortality.

It is also a disease that his family has a lot of experience with. Hemsworth’s grandfather has Alzheimer’s.

“He doesn’t remember who we are, you know his grandchildren, but he forgets his kids too. It’s heartbreaking,” he says on the show.

She also told Vanity Fair that there are some days when her grandfather is “quite happy and gives you a big hug.”

“I’m not sure he really remembers much anymore and he drifts in and out of Dutch, which is his native language, so he’s Dutch and English and then a mash-up and maybe some other new words as well.” Will speak,” he said.

Despite her genetic makeup and family history, Atiya told Hemsworth, “It is my belief that if we take every possible step, we reduce your risk for someone else.”

The discovery inspired Hemsworth to take action. According to the National Institute on Aging, physical activity, blood pressure control and cognitive training — activities that help enhance memory, reasoning and processing speed — may help stave off the onset of the disease, although these findings are inconclusive.

“It’s not like I’ve been handed my resignation,” he told Vanity Fair.

“When you have cardiovascular heart disease, cancer, whatever—it’s all about sleep management, stress management, nutrition, movement, fitness. It’s all kinds of tools that need to be applied in a consistent way,” They said

But at the end of the day, Hemsworth told Vanity Fair that what matters most is making the most of life while you still can.

“Whether or not any of this information helps you live longer, it’s about living better now,” he said. “Everything you do now for the benefit of your future self is of great benefit to your present self. … Live with a sense of gratitude and love for life as much as you can.”

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