According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, the stiff-person syndrome is an uncommon neurological condition that affects 1–2 persons per million. Celine Dion disclosed to her followers on Thursday that she has been diagnosed with it.
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the condition “is characterized by variable muscular stiffness in the trunk and limbs and a raised sensitivity to stimuli including noise, touch, and emotional discomfort, which can cause muscle spasms” (NINDS). People who suffer from stiff-person syndrome frequently have a hunched-over or rigid posture and may find it difficult to walk or move around. According to NINDS, some persons may be hesitant to leave the house because street sounds, such as the sound of a horn, might provoke spasms and falls.
Because they lack “normal protective responses,” patients with stiff-person syndrome frequently fall and are more prone to injury. Dion, who was sobbing, explained that she had to postpone her gigs for the spring of 2023 due to her illness.
“Earlier, I wasn’t prepared to speak, but now I am. Before disclosing her diagnosis, the Canadian singer stated, “I’ve been suffering from health issues for a long time, and it’s been incredibly tough for me to confront these obstacles and to talk about all that I’ve gone through. We now understand that this is what has been causing all of my spasms.
The spasms, according to Dion, make it difficult for her to move and even sing, affecting “all parts” of her life. She remarked, “I usually give 100% when I perform, but right now, my situation prevents me from giving you that. NINDS reports that although the illness is fairly uncommon overall, it affects women more frequently than males. Research indicates that the brain and spinal cord may be affected by an autoimmune problem, albeit the exact reason is yet unknown.
According to NINDS, among other conditions, the uncommon syndrome is sometimes mistaken as Parkinson’s or multiple sclerosis. Although there is no known treatment, it can be managed with intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg), muscle relaxants, and painkillers. Dion admitted that it had been difficult. I just know that singing has been my life’s work and that it is what I like doing the most.
The performer closed by stating that she expects to soon return to the stage after completely focusing on her health and recovery.