Chris Hemsworth talks about some eye-opening news he learned while filming his new series, “Limitless.”
The ‘Thor’ star, who puts his physical and mental strength to the ultimate test on the National Geographic show airing on Disney+, shares he may be at a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease than the general population general after undergoing thorough blood tests.
In a clip from the episode about brain health, Hemsworth takes a genetic test and meets longevity specialist Dr. Peter Attia, who tells the actor he has two copies of APOE4, or the gene. of apolipoprotein E, which is the most potent risk factor gene for Alzheimer’s disease, according to the National Institute of Aging.
However, genetic testing for Alzheimer’s disease is in its infancy and is not recommended for everyone.
In fact, the National Institute on Aging warns against genetic testing for most people because testing positive doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll develop Alzheimer’s disease and can cause undue stress and anxiety. But Dr. Attia points out that for anyone, regardless of their genetics, making healthy choices can help reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s later in life.
What is APOE4?
According to the NIA, certain genes could increase the risk of developing dementia, in particular Alzheimer’s disease. The most important of these is APOE4.
About 25% of people carry one copy of APOE4, and two to three percent carry two copies, according to the NIA, one APOE allele from each of their biological parents.
In Hemsworth’s case, doctors found two copies of APOE4 in his DNA, saying he has one set of APOE4 from his mother and one set of the gene from his father, making his risk of developing the disease Alzheimer’s several times higher than most people, study finds.
Although APOE4 increases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and is associated with an earlier age of disease onset, the NIA says this does not mean a person will permanently develop the disease.
“The idea that I won’t be able to remember the life that I lived, or my wife, my children, is probably my biggest fear,” he says in an excerpt from the series.
“The idea that I won’t be able to remember the life that I lived or my wife, my children, that’s probably my biggest fear.”@Chris Hemsworth discovers that he has a risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease eight to ten times higher than the general population by filming his @NatGeo To display. pic.twitter.com/GAx3igKjdj
— Hello America (@GMA) November 17, 2022
In another clip, Hemsworth reflects on his grandfather’s battle with Alzheimer’s disease and how difficult it is.
“He’s a handsome man,” Hemsworth said. “He also doesn’t remember who we are, you know, his grandchildren, but also even his own children that he forgets. It’s heartbreaking.”
Research shows that developing the disease is more likely for those who have a first-degree relative with Alzheimer’s disease, but having a parent or sibling with Alzheimer’s disease does not always mean someone will develop it.
Path to preserving brain health
As Hemsworth receives the life-changing news on the show, a doctor in a clip points out that the information learned is a blessing and can help motivate Hemsworth to take care of his brain health.
“I’m confident that if we take every possible step we can reduce your risk to anyone else’s,” Attia told Hemsworth in a clip.
There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say there are ways to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s, including regular exercise, blood sugar management, and maintaining a healthy weight. According to the CDC, other ways to prevent Alzheimer’s disease are to quit smoking, avoid excessive alcohol consumption, and get enough sleep.
“It very quickly became another wonderful motivation to make changes and arm myself with all the tools to live a better, healthier life,” Hemsworth said during an appearance on “Good Morning America.”
He continued, “I think all the motivations for living better can take many shapes and forms and that was, you know, all I’m going to do right now to benefit and protect myself from brain health will benefit everyone. aspects of my health and well-being.”
“Limitless” is now available to stream on Disney+.
Disney is the parent company of ABC News and “Good Morning America.”
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