Celine Dion diagnosed with Stiff Person Syndrome, a rare neurological disorder – Times of India

Canadian singer, Celine Dion has revealed suffering from Stiff Person Syndrome. The 54 year old took to Instagram to disclose her medical condition that is responsible for uncontrollable muscle spasm.

“I’ve been dealing with problems with my health for a long time”
“As part of her Courage World Tour, Céline Dion announces the postponement of shows from spring 2023 to 2024 and the cancellation of 8 shows scheduled for summer 2023!! I’ve had health problems for a long time and it’s not easy for me to cope with them.” I am deeply saddened to say that I will not be ready to resume my Europe tour in February,” reads the caption of her video.

“Unfortunately, these spasms affect every part of my life…”
In the video she says: And it’s been really difficult for me to face these challenges and to talk about everything that I’ve been going through. “Recently I’ve been diagnosed with a very rare neurological disorder called the stiff person syndrome which affects one in a million people. While we’re still learning about this rare condition, we now know this is what’s been causing all the spasms I’ve been having. Unfortunately, these spasms affect every aspect of my daily life, sometimes causing difficulties when I walk and not allowing me to use my vocal chords to sing the way I’m used to. It hurts me to tell you today that this means I won’t be ready to restart my tour in Europe in February”.

What is Stiff Person Syndrome or SPS?
SPS is a rare condition.

According to the US National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) Stiff-person syndrome (SPS) is a rare neurological disorder with features of an autoimmune disease. It is characterized by fluctuating muscle rigidity in the trunk and limbs and a heightened sensitivity to stimuli such as noise, touch, and emotional distress, which can set off muscle spasms.

What are SPS symptoms?
The common symptoms of SPS are abnormal postures, hunched over body, stiffened body.

People with this rare condition can be too disabled to walk or move. These people are also afraid to leave the house because street noises, such as the sound of a horn, can trigger spasms and falls.

Why is SPS a rare condition?
It is because scientists have not yet figured out what causes SPS though research studies have indicated that an autoimmune response in the brain and spinal cord triggers this condition.

Due to lack of understanding in this, it is often confused with Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, psychosomatic illness, or anxiety and phobia.

Here are few common questions related to this neurological conditions:

  1. What causes stiff person syndrome?
    Though exact reason behind stiff person syndrome is not known, it is mostly assumed to be caused by an autoimmune response.
  2. What triggers stiff person syndrome?
    Environmental stimuli like loud noises and emotional stress mostly triggers stiff person syndrome.
  3. Can stiff person syndrome be cured?
    As per a study, currently there are two main treatments for SPS, GABAergic (gamma-aminobutyric acid) therapy and immunotherapy.

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