Chris Hemsworth

Chris Hemsworth says he’s at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease in the future

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Recently, Chris Hemsworth learned something concerning his health that has him concerned about the future. The actor, who portrays the powerful God of Thunder “Thor” in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, recently spoke candidly about having a hereditary predisposition to Alzheimer’s disease in an interview with Vanity Fair.

Chris Hemsworth, who frequently posts physical exercise videos to his social media accounts, was filming the National Geographic docuseries “Limitless” when, after undergoing a series of genetic testing, he learned what his “greatest fear” was. According to the Vanity Fair article, the Australian actor has two copies of the gene APOE4 in his DNA, one from each parent. APOE4 has been associated in multiple studies with an elevated risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

For those who are unaware, Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative neurological condition that results in brain shrinkage and the death of brain cells. Dementia, a generic term for a mental deterioration severe enough to impede daily life, is a type of sickness that causes the problem.

The actor, 39, who is also a father of three children, told Vanity Fair that even while it is not a formal diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, it is still causing concern because it increases his likelihood of getting the illness in the future. He states, “My concern was I just didn’t want to manipulate it and over dramatise it, and make it into some sort of hokey grab at empathy, or whatever, for entertainment. It’s not like I’ve been handed my resignation.”

What does the gene APOE4 do?

Three different forms of the gene exist APOE4, APOE3, and APOE2. If a person possesses one APOE4 gene, their risk of developing Alzheimer’s increases by two to three times; if they possess two, their risk may rise by eight to twelve times, according to Dr Praveen Gupta, director of neurology at Fortis Hospital Gurugram. Alzheimer’s disease is not caused by APOE4, but it does enhance the risk of developing it, which is then altered by environmental and other variables. Sadly, we are unable to alter the gene at this time to reduce the chance of Alzheimer’s.

Common symptoms of Alzheimer’s

  • Increased disorientation and memory loss, such as the tendency to forget breakfast habits, acquaintances, and other details.
  • A gradual loss of recent memory; people frequently only retain memories from their early years.
  • Inability to pick up new skills.
  • Challenges with reading, writing and dealing with numbers, in addition to language difficulties.
  • Difficulty in organising ideas and logic.
  • Attention span is limited
  • The inability to recognise and locate certain locations; for instance, some people struggle to find their rooms and bathrooms in their homes.
  • A lack of attention to timing
  • Interrupted sleep