As it worsens, the condition eventually leaves victims as “human statues” unable to walk or talk as the disease locks their bodies into rigid positions…”
WASHINGTON — Singer Celine Dion has revealed that she suffers from a rare neurological disease called Stiff Person Syndrome or SPS.
In a five minute videoDion, 54, said the incurable condition affects one in a million. The syndrome is estimated to affect fewer than 5,000 people in the United States.
“While we’re still learning about this rare condition, we now know it’s what’s causing all the spasms I’m having,” Singer said.
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, This condition is characterized by muscles that tense uncontrollably.and increased sensitivity to stimuli such as noise, touch, and emotional distress, which can inhibit muscle spasms.
“Unfortunately these spasms affect every aspect of my daily life,” Dion said. “Sometimes I have trouble walking and it doesn’t allow me to use my vocal chords the way I sing.”
Because people with the condition can’t control their bodies effectively, they’re more prone to falls and injuries because they can’t move to catch themselves, according to the NINDS.
Because of this, Dion said she would not be able to continue her previously planned European tour, which was set to begin in February 2023.
As it worsens, the condition eventually leaves victims as “human statues” who are unable to walk or talk as the disease locks their bodies into rigid positions for hours at a time.
Although there is no cure for stiff person syndrome, it can be treated with muscle relaxants, anticonvulsants, and other medications.
According to the NINDS website, “with appropriate treatment, symptoms are usually well controlled.”
Dion said she is undergoing medical treatment to slow the progression of the disease.
SPS affects twice as many women as men.
It is often associated with other autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes, thyroiditis, vitiligo, and pernicious anemia, the NINDS said.
Scientists do not yet understand what causes SPS, but research suggests that it is the result of an autoimmune response in the brain and spinal cord.