Celine Dion Reveals Stiff-Person Syndrome Diagnosis

Celine Dion Reveals Stiff-Person Syndrome Diagnosis

After having been forced to reschedule her tour once again, Celine Dion has revealed that she's been diagnosed with stiff-person syndrome (SPS).

In an emotional video, Dion opened up about the rare neurological disorder, which causes muscle spasms and other physical difficulties. "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 which affects something like one in a million people," she explained. "While we're still learning about this rare condition, we now know that this is what has been causing all of the spasms that I've been having."

As a result, Dion announced that she would be rescheduling her Spring 2023 European tour to 2024 instead. Dion's Courage tour was previously delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and later due to “severe and persistent” muscle spasms she would later learn were symptoms of stiff-person syndrome.

“Unfortunately, the 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,” she said. “I have a great team of doctors working alongside me to help me get better and my precious children who are supporting me and giving me hope. I’m working hard with my support medicine therapist every day to build back my strength and my ability to perform again, but I have to admit it’s been a struggle.”

Stiff-person syndrome currently has no known cure, with the National Institute for Neurological Disorders characterizing the disease by symptoms of "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." Known treatments for stiff-person syndrome can include anti-anxiety medication and muscle relaxants to slow its progression.

Dion concluded by saying that she hopes to one day return to performing and currently has no plans to move her August through October tour dates. “I miss seeing all of you, being on the stage, performing for you. I always give 100 percent when I do my shows, but my condition is not allowing me to give you that right now.”

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