Céline Dion Has Stiff-Person Syndrome — What That Is

The singer has "hope" after being diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder.

Recently, celebrated singer Céline Dion took to Instagram to share with her followers that she has been diagnosed with a rare neurological condition known as Stiff-Person Syndrome (SPS). The emotional video sees Dion holding back tears as she discloses this personal news and expresses how the condition has hindered her singing capabilities. As a consequence of her health issues, she will be postponing all upcoming concerts to concentrate on her recovery. Dion shares in the video, "I have always been transparent about my life. I was not ready to disclose anything earlier, but I feel prepared now. My health problems have been ongoing for quite some time, and it has been incredibly challenging for me to confront these obstacles and discuss what I have been experiencing." She further explains, "I have recently been diagnosed with an extremely rare neurological disorder known as Stiff-Person Syndrome. This condition affects approximately one in a million individuals." According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), SPS is defined by muscle stiffness throughout the body and increased sensitivity to stimuli such as sound, touch, and emotional distress. These stimuli can lead to muscle spasms. Individuals suffering from SPS often face difficulties in walking and moving around, and may develop a fear of leaving their homes due to potential triggers that could induce muscle spasms. NINDS also reveals that SPS affects almost twice as many women as men and is frequently linked with other autoimmune diseases like diabetes and vitiligo. In her video, Dion says, "Even though we are still gaining knowledge about this uncommon condition, we have learned that it's the reason behind all the spasms I have been experiencing." She adds, "Unfortunately, these spasms impact every part of my day-to-day life, occasionally causing problems when I walk and preventing me from utilizing my vocal cords to sing the way I normally do."

The root cause of Stiff-Person Syndrome (SPS) remains uncertain, however, studies indicate that it may be due to an autoimmune reaction within the brain and spinal cord, as outlined by the NINDS. This condition is often confused with diseases like Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, or anxiety disorders.

"I am surrounded by a top-notch team of doctors who are aiding me in my path to recovery, and I am bolstered by the unwavering support and hope provided by my beloved children," Dion shares. "Every day, I am putting in the effort with my sports medicine therapist to regain my strength and ability to perform, yet, admittedly, it has been a challenging journey."

While treatments including anti-anxiety medications, muscle relaxants, anti-convulsants, and painkillers can provide symptom relief for SPS, they do not offer a cure, as per NINDS.

Focusing on her health, Dion has deferred her concert dates to 2024. "In all my shows, I put forth my 100 percent, but my current health condition is hindering me from doing so," she admits. "To reach out to you again, I have no alternative but to prioritize my health at present. Nonetheless, I am hopeful that recovery is underway."

The renowned singer of 'My Heart Will Go On' concludes the video with heartfelt thanks for her fans whose love and support on social media have made a significant difference. "Your kindness means the world to me," she expresses. "Please look after yourselves. Stay healthy. I cherish you dearly, and eagerly look forward to meeting you again very soon."

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