Celine Dion Diagnosed With Stiff Person Syndrome: What Is It?

(NEXSTAR) – Celine Dion revealed to her fans on Thursday that she had been diagnosed with stiff-person syndrome, a rare neurological disorder that affects approximately 1 or 2 in a million people, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).

People with stiff-person syndrome often have a hunched or stiff posture and may have trouble walking or moving. Some people may be “afraid to leave the house because street noises, such as the sound of a car horn, can trigger spasms and falls,” says the NINDS.

Without “normal defensive reflexes”, people with stiffness syndrome often fall and can easily injure themselves.

Holding back tears, Dion said his condition forced him to postpone shows scheduled for spring 2023.

“I wasn’t ready to say anything before, but I’m ready now. I’ve been dealing with health issues for a long time, and it’s been really hard for me to deal with those challenges and talk about everything that I’ve been through,” the Canadian singer said before revealing her diagnosis. ” We now know that’s what caused all the spasms I’ve had.”

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Dion said the spasms affected “every aspect” of her life, making it difficult for her to walk and even sing. “I always give 100% when I do my shows, but my condition doesn’t allow me to give that to you right now,” she said.

The syndrome occurs about twice as often in women as in men, according to the NINDS, although it occurs in very low numbers overall. The cause is not yet understood, but research suggests it could be an autoimmune problem in the brain and spinal cord.

The NINDS says the rare disease is often misdiagnosed as Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis, among other illnesses.

It can be treated with intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIg), muscle relaxants and painkillers, but there is no known cure.

“I have to admit it was a struggle,” Dion said. “All I know is that singing is what I’ve done all my life and it’s what I love doing the most.”

The singer concluded by saying that she plans to fully focus on her health and recovery, and hopes to be back on stage soon.


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