Celine Dion has revealed that she has been diagnosed with an incurable neurological condition, Stiff Person Syndrome.
On Thursday (8 December), the “My Heart Will Go On” singer posted an emotional video to her Instagram page explaining that she had been diagnosed with Stiff Person Syndrome, which she says affects “every aspect of my daily life”.
She said that the rare condition has been causing muscle spasms which affect her ability to perform and sing.
“I’ve been dealing with problems with my health for a long time and it’s been really difficult for me to face my challenges and to talk about everything that I’ve been going through,” Dion said in a teary-eyed video.
The 54-year-old continued: “Recently I’ve been diagnosed with a very rare neurological disorder called the Stiff Person Syndrome which affects 1 in a million people.
“While we’re still learning about this rare condition, we now know this is what’s been causing all the spasms I’ve been having.”
Subsequently, the singer has cancelled eight of her summer shows scheduled for 2023 and rescheduled her Spring 2023 shows to 2024.
“I miss you so much,” the singer told fans. “I always give 100 per cent when I do my shows but my condition is not allowing me to give that to you right now”.
However, Dion assured fans that she has a “great team of doctors” working hard to help her get better, but admitted it has been a “struggle”.
What is Stiff Person Syndrome?
Stiff Person Syndrome (SPS) is an autoimmune and neurological disorder that causes rigidity in the torso and limbs. Symptoms include stiffening in the torso and limbs, along with muscle spasms.
Symptoms can be triggered by environmental stimuli (like loud noises) or emotional stress. Severe muscle spasms can cause the person to fall down.
These symptoms can lead to difficulty walking and over time, even greater disability.
What causes Stiff Person Syndrome?
Though the cause of SPS remains unknown, researchers suspect it may be caused by an autoimmune reaction where the body attacks nerve cells in the central nervous system that control muscle movement, according to Yale Medicine.
Most people with SPS will start experiencing symptoms between the ages of 30 and 60.
Is there a cure for Stiff Person Syndrome?
There is no cure for SPS. When doctors treat patients with the condition, they focus on relieving symptoms with medications such as muscle relaxants and steroids.