Celine Dion Revealed That She Has Stiff-Person Syndrome: What Is It?

Celine Dion Revealed That She Has Stiff-Person Syndrome What Is It

Popular Canadian singer Celine Dion has revealed through an Instagram post that she is suffering from a rare neurological condition called Stiff-Person Syndrome (SPS) which causes painful muscle spasms.

Dion said that it is a very rare condition that affects one in a million people and even medical experts are also trying to fully understand the condition.

The 54-year-old singer said that her life has always been like an open book and this time also she felt that she should be open about her condition which has been causing her immense pain when she walks or sometimes even when she tries to sing.

The diagnosis might cause her to postpone her tour or maybe even cancel some of them owing to further treatment procedures.

Stiff-Person Syndrome, Which Celine Dion Has, Occurs Once In A Million People

Dion went on to say that the condition has affected her daily quality of life so she has decided to focus on her health for the time being. She was also thankful to the brilliant team of doctors and she hopes to perform again in the future. 

Celine Dion Revealed That She Has Stiff-Person Syndrome

According to health experts, the stiff-person syndrome can affect people in varying intensities. The treatment also focuses on controlling these symptoms so that the overall quality of life of the affected person can be improved.

The condition is also known as Moersch-Woltman syndrome and the condition mainly targets the torso, arms, and leg muscles. These spasms can often lead to emotional distress as the person becomes too sensitive to any kind of touch. As the condition worsens, it can cause physical disability to the person like hunch-over postures.

SPS is known to affect more women than men. Medical researchers have not been able to fully understand how the condition develops or why it develops. But they believe that it is a form of autoimmune condition triggered by some anomaly in the brain and spinal cord. There is often a misdiagnosis between SPS and Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, anxiety, etc.

A blood test measuring the level of glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) antibodies can confirm the SPS diagnosis.

The Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center states that less than five thousand people are affected with this condition in the US and these are probable numbers that can vary depending on various factors ranging from reporting the disease to correct diagnosis. 

Symptoms of a person suffering from SPS are severe muscle spasms and stiffening that can be caused by some sort of emotional distress or other external factors. The severity of the condition can cause a person to lose balance and mobility.

Individuals who develop the condition can have a close relationship with anxiety. The symptoms can induce anxiety or it can be vice versa.

Dr.Scott Newsome, director of the Stiff Person Syndrome Center said that it might take around seven years for an average person to get diagnosed with SPS as most people tend to approach a physician to get relief from the pain rather than consulting a neurologist.

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As of today, there are no known treatments for SPS but the symptoms can be controlled using certain medications. Immunoglobulin medications are used to suppress the sensitivity of a patient toward sounds or lights that can possibly provoke a spasm episode.

Muscle relaxers, Painkillers, and anti-anxiety medications are also used to keep the symptoms to a minimum so that the individual can manage their routine affairs. Without medications, it will be a really tough journey as the condition progresses. 

For Celine Dion, it is a very challenging situation with a condition like this as she is a singer and performer who has to be around loud sounds and flashy lights. So she admits that it has been quite a struggle.

Dion feels hopeful that she will be able to get back on track and perform better under the guidance of her team of doctors and the sports medicine therapist who is helping to build back her strength.  

Written By

Shone Palmer
Shone Palmer

I've been writing about LGBTQ issues for more than a decade as a journalist and content writer. I write about things that you care about. LGBTQ+ issues and intersectional topics, such as harmful stories about gender, sexuality, and other identities on the margins of society, I also write about mental health, social justice, and other things. I identify as queer, I'm asexual, I have HIV, and I just became a parent.

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