Singer Celine Dion reveals she suffers from rare neurological condition: Know all about stiff-person syndrome

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Canadian singer Celine Dion took to her Instagram to announce that she is postponing the rest of her world tour as she has been diagnosed with a rare neurological condition. She revealed in the post that a condition called stiff-person syndrome (SPS) or Moersch-Woltman syndrome is the reason why she has been experiencing painful muscle spasms.

In the IG post, the 54-year-old singer shared what she has been suffering from and how this neurological condition has affected her so far.

Celine Dion shares her experience with stiff-person syndrome

“I’ve been dealing with problems with my health for a long time, and it has been really difficult for me to face these challenges… We now know is what’s been causing all of the spasms that I’ve been having,” she said in the Instagram post.
She continued to share that the spasms she experiences affect every aspect of her daily life. Sometimes, the condition makes it difficult for her to walk and the way she sings.

Celine Dion
Celine Dion cancels tour ahead of rare neurological condition diagnosis. Image Courtesy: Instagram/Celine Dion

She further thanked her family and the team of doctors who are helping her overcome the condition and giving her hope through tough times like these. As a result of the disease, Dion has rescheduled her tour to be able to focus on her health at the moment.

“I have hope that I’m on the road to recovery. This is my focus and I’m doing everything that I can to recuperate.”

What is stiff-person syndrome?

Stiff-person syndrome is a rare neurological condition, which causes muscle stiffness (rigidity) and recurrent, excruciating muscle spasms. Muscle rigidity typically occurs concurrently with muscle spasms and gets worse before getting better. Spasms may occur spontaneously or be induced by a variety of various circumstances such as sudden noise or minor physical contact, as per the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

The disease does not show any prominent symptoms, and the severity of the neurological condition may vary from one person to another. If left untreated, SPS may worsen and difficult to walk, making it difficult for the patient to carry out everyday duties.

As per NIH, this condition affects more women as compared to men. It usually affects people who have an underlying autoimmune disease, including thyroiditis, vitiligo, type-1 diabetes, and anaemia.

neurological condition diagnosis
Celine Dion cancels tour ahead of rare neurological condition diagnosis. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

Signs and symptoms of stiff-person syndrome

This rare, progressive neurological symptom does not cause any prominent symptoms, but there are some signs you should look out for:

  • Muscle stiffness
  • Stiffness in arms and legs
  • Noise sensitivity
  • Emotional stress
  • Muscle spasms
  • Hunched over posture
  • Inability to walk or move

How is SPS diagnosed?

Since it is a rare disease, it is generally misdiagnosed as Parkinson’s disease or psychosomatic illness, or anxiety or phobia. However, the stiff-person syndrome is diagnosed with a blood test.

Is there treatment available for SPS?

Several medical sources point out that the symptoms of the disease can be controlled with anti-anxiety or muscle relaxant drugs. While these medications can ease the symptoms, there is no cure for the disease.

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