Today, legendary singer Celine Dion tearfully announced that she now has an incurable disease that has caused her to stop all performances. It’s a disease that causes her to go stiff, like a statue, among other things. So what is this disease? It’s called “Stiff-person Syndrome.” Stiff-person syndrome is a rare neurological disorder with features of an autoimmune disease. SPS is characterized by fluctuating muscle rigidity in the trunk and limbs and a heightened sensitivity to stimuli such as noise, touch, and emotional distress, which can set off muscle spasms. Abnormal postures, often hunched over and stiffened, are characteristic of the disorder. People with SPS can be too disabled to walk or move, or they are afraid to leave the house because street noises, such as the sound of a horn, can trigger spasms and falls. SPS affects twice as many women as men. It is frequently associated with other autoimmune diseases such as diabetes, thyroiditis, vitiligo, and pernicious anemia. Scientists don’t yet understand what causes SPS, but research indicates that it is the result of an autoimmune response gone awry in the brain and spinal cord.
People with SPS respond to high doses of diazepam and several anti-convulsants, gabapentin and tiagabine. Treatment with IVIg, anti-anxiety drugs, muscle relaxants, anti-convulsants, and pain relievers will improve the symptoms of SPS, but will not cure the disorder. Most individuals with SPS have frequent falls and because they lack the normal defensive reflexes; injuries can be severe.
WAPO reported that Celine Dion announced that she was diagnosed with a rare and incurable neurological condition known as stiff-person syndrome, and that she will cancel or postpone dozens of shows in her “Courage World Tour.”
In an emotional, five-minute Instagram video posted Thursday, Dion, 54, told fans: “I’ve been dealing with problems with my health for a long time, and it’s been really difficult for me to face these challenges and to talk about everything that I’ve been going through.”
“Recently, I’ve been diagnosed with a very rare neurological disorder called the stiff-person syndrome,” she continued.
“While we’re still learning about this rare condition, we now know this is what’s been causing all of the spasms that I’ve been having. Unfortunately, these spasms affect every aspect of my daily life, sometimes causing difficulties when I walk and not allowing me to use my vocal cords to sing the way I’m used to.”
You can watch the video below:
Celine Dion announces she's been diagnosed with stiff-person syndrome pic.twitter.com/rn1J6mTgHI
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) December 8, 2022
As you can imagine, her fans are heartbroken over this. I was honored to see Celine Dion in concert once, and she was amazing.
Nobody worked harder for their fans than she did. She was a tireless workhorse.
We wish her well, and hope that she can find some “balance” and live a safe and healthy life.
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