The 55-year-old Canadian singer has lost control of certain muscles due to a rare neurological disorder.
It has been one year since Celine Dion announced she was diagnosed with stiff-person syndrome — a rare neurological condition that causes muscle stiffness and spasms — and now, Dion's sister says her condition is progressing,
"There are some who have lost hope because it is an illness that is not known," Claudette Dion said in an interview with 7Jours, a French news publication. "People tell us they love her and pray for her. She receives so many messages, gifts, blessed crucifixes. She works hard, but she doesn't have control of her muscles."
In December 2022, Celine Dion revealed in an Instagram post that she had stiff-person syndrome and was postponing shows scheduled for spring 2023.
In May of this year, Dion announced the cancellation of her 2024 Courage World Tour due to ongoing health concerns related to stiff-person syndrome. According to an ENews report, Claudette Dion says Celine is currently living with their sister Linda in Las Vegas.
What is stiff-person syndrome?
Stiff-person syndrome (SPS) is an extremely rare condition that is estimated to affect approximately one in 1,000,000 people. It occurs in women more often than men and typically first appears between 30 and 60 years of age.
The cause of SPS is unknown, but some research suggests it may be an autoimmune disorder.
Symptoms of SPS include muscle stiffness and episodes of painful muscle spasms, which may progress to the point where the person experiences significant disability. Diagnosing the condition involves ruling out other health conditions via blood tests, electromyography (EMG), which measures electrical activity in muscles, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans.
Specialists treat SPS with medications including diazepam and clonazepam and non-drug therapies such as acupuncture, heat therapy, and stretching. In addition, intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) treatment has shown promise in clinical studies.
- National Organization for Rare Disorders. Stiff Person Syndrome.