One in a million people have the syndrome, which is also called Moersch-Woltman syndrome and used to be called "stiff person syndrome." The Cleveland Clinic says that it is a rare autoimmune disorder of movement that affects the central nervous system.
When a person has this condition, the muscles in their trunk become stiff, and then the muscles in their legs and other parts of their body become stiff and rigid. According to the clinic's description, it can also cause painful muscle spasms that happen randomly or in response to noise, stress, or touch.
There is no cure, but treatments can slow down how fast it gets worse. Dion told her fans about the diagnosis and the fact that she had to cancel her European tour in a tearful video she posted on Instagram on Thursday.
Celine Dion Reveals Rare Neurological Disorder Diagnosis
Céline Dion said Thursday morning that she has the stiff-person syndrome, which is a rare, incurable disease of the nervous system that can cause painful muscle spasms.
In a tearful video posted to her Instagram account in both English and French, the Canadian singer said that because of her health, she would have to delay or cancel a number of upcoming shows. Dion, 54, wrote in the caption of the post.
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. It hurts me to tell you that I won't be ready to restart my tour in Europe in February. Recently, I've been diagnosed with a very rare neurological condition called stiff-person syndrome, which affects something like one in a million people. 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.- Celine Dion
The Stiff Person Syndrome Foundation says that the condition affects the brain and spinal cord, which are part of the central nervous system.
Patients can be disabled, wheelchair-bound or bed-ridden, unable to work and care for themselves, they say, adding that the neurological disease with autoimmune features can include symptoms like hyper-rigidity, debilitating pain, chronic anxiety, and muscle spasms so violent they can dislocate joints and even break bones. 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.- Celine Dion
Dion said that she and her late husband, René Angélil, had three sons: René-Charles, who is 21, and twins Nelson and Eddy, who are 11. She also said that she has "a great team of doctors working with me to help me get better."
"And my precious children who are supporting me and giving me hope," she said. Because of her health, Dion's Spring 2023 shows have been moved to 2024, and eight of her summer 2023 shows, which were supposed to take place between May 31 and July 17, 2023, have been canceled.
But the five-time Grammy winner said she will keep trying to get back on stage. "All I know is singing," she said.
It's what I've done all my life. And it's what I love to do the most. I'm working hard with my sports 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.- Celine Dion
The singer of "My Heart Will Go On" cried even more as she told her fans how much she loved them.
I miss you so much. 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. For me to reach you again, I have no choice but to concentrate on my health at this moment. And I have hope that I'm on the road to recovery. This is my focus and I'm doing everything I can to recuperate. I want to thank you so much for your encouraging wishes of love and support on my social media. This means a lot to me. Take care of yourselves. Be well. I love you guys so much and I really hope I can see you again real soon. Thank you.- Celine Dion
First, Dion had to cancel her tour because of the pandemic. Then, as we now know, she had to cancel it again in January because of health problems related to the pandemic. In April, she told her fans that the tour she had planned for 2022 would be moved to 2023.
I'm doing my very best to get back to the level that I need to be so that I can give 100% at my shows because that's what you deserve.- Celine Dion
On her official website, you can find out more about the new dates for her European tour.
Celine Dion has been diagnosed with an incurable disease called "Stiff Person Syndrome", a rare neurological condition that makes her muscles tense up on their own. The condition, which affects one in a million people, gradually locks the body into rigid positions until the person can no longer walk or talk.
Even though there is no cure for SPS, there are ways to stop it from getting worse, and Celine says she is doing everything she can to lessen her symptoms.