Chris Hemsworth’s taking increased risk of Alzheimer’s in stride — and taking a break from making sequels.
Charles H. Greene Jr. is an associate professor of journalism at Oklahoma State University and an award-winning author, whose work appears in The New Yorker, The New York Times and other major publications. He is also the author of “The Truth at the Heart of the News,” a new book about the media. His email address is [email protected].
The next Thor movie might be about Steve Rogers, the role played by Chris Hemsworth, who is taking increased risk of Alzheimer’s in stride and taking time off to enjoy his family.
While Hemsworth’s onscreen alter ego is a lovable rogue, there’s growing evidence that a version of the character with the brain disease may already be with him. In 2017, researchers at Germany-based Max-Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences asked the actor to complete an MRI, as part of a study that was being conducted at the time. They found that hemoglobin, which the brain uses to carry oxygen, had dropped in many of his brain regions, particularly the hippocampus.
This latest information suggests for the first time that he might have inherited a genetic variant associated with Alzheimer’s that might put him at higher risk for the disease, according to co-author Anja Traut-Kampweiler, a neuroscientist studying dementia at the University of Cologne.
She said the finding indicates that he may have more of the disease even without experiencing symptoms, since the disease is typically diagnosed after someone’s death.
The brain scan data might sound like nothing more than a brain game, but when seen in the context of the actor’s life, it’s a potentially serious matter. When the role of Steve Rogers was created, several decades ago, Chris Hemsworth had no neurological disease, and yet he played the part until recently. (In the film, it’s not revealed whether he would have been playing his own version of the character with the disease.)
His brain chemistry, the way he exercises and eats, the emotional state he feels, his physical health and the amount of exercise he takes may all be to blame for his longevity. His public image is that of a “workaholic” who has time for a healthy diet and takes care of