In the fifth episode of Limitless with Chris Hemsworth , a docuseries that has just arrived on Disney+.
The actor receives unexpected news: his genetic makeup includes two copies of the APOE4 gene, one inherited from his father and one from his mother, and this makes him particularly predisposed to contract Alzheimer’s disease.
Vanity Fair reports the diagnosis, specifying: “One in four people carry a single copy of the gene, but only 2-3% of the population have two, according to a study by the National Institutes of Health published in 2021”.
Speaking to Vanity Fair, Hemsworth says he hasn’t received an actual Alzheimer’s diagnosis, but is eight to 10 times more likely than average to contract the disease, which his grandfather also suffers from. Thus, the star decided to take a break after ten years of intense work:
[The discovery] triggered something in me, urging me to take some time off. Since we finished the series, I’ve completed the things I was under contract to do. When I finish this promotional tour this week, I’m going to go home and take a good break and make my life easier. I will be staying with my kids and wife.
On the bright side, Chris Hemsworth will now have time to take precautions, focusing on fitness, nutrition, sleep and stress reduction, to minimize the chances of getting Alzheimer’s:
For me, the upside was, if I didn’t have this information, I wouldn’t have made the changes I did. I was totally unaware of it, and now I feel grateful to have in my arsenal the tools to better prepare and prevent things from happening that way.
The actor also reveals that he spoke with Disney about the possibility of excluding the diagnosis from Limitless , but came to the conclusion that it was better to include it:
If this can inspire people to take care of themselves and understand that there are paths they can take, then great. My only concern was that I didn’t want to manipulate and dramatize it too much, or use it to beg for empathy in a forced way to gain an audience.
The official synopsis
From Academy Award-nominated director Darren Aronofsky ( The Whale, Black Swan ) and his production company Protozoa, Jane Root’s Nutopia and Chris Hemsworth and Ben Grayson’s fledgling Wild State, Limitlessputs cutting-edge science at the heart of human longevity. Halfway between a global scientific adventure and a personal journey, each episode of the series follows Chris Hemsworth as he tackles physical and mental feats devised by world-renowned experts, scientists and doctors to unlock the aging process. Each challenge, carried out with the utmost precision, is based on innovative studies that draw on new research and consolidated traditions. Hemsworth’s mission is to better understand the limitations of the human body and to discover how we can prolong health and happiness into old age.