In December last year, French-Canadian singer Celine Dion revealed that she has been diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder, Stiff Person Syndrome (SPS), that affects one in a million people.
In a press release shared to her social media accounts in May, Celine expressed that she would be cancelling her Courage world tour for all dates on-sale in 2023 and 2024 due to the rare condition.
In the most recent update regarding the singer’s condition, Celine’s sister, Claudette, tells Le Journal de Montréal that she has moved in with Celine, and they’re struggling to find treatment “that works” against the rare neurological disorder.
“[Celine is] listening to the top researchers in the field of this rare disease as much as possible,” shares Claudette.
“I honestly think that she mostly needs to rest. She always goes above and beyond; she always tries to be the best and top of her game.”
In chatting about Celine taking a step away from performing, she says:
“At one point, your heart and your body are trying to tell you something. It’s important to listen to it.”
Claudette then goes on to suggest that the chances of finding a big breakthrough may be fleeting, but it’s important to still have hope.
What is Stiff Person Syndrome?
According to the US National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, SPS is classified as:
“A rare, progressive neurological disorder.”
“Symptoms may include stiff muscles in the trunk (torso), arms, and legs; and greater sensitivity to noise, touch, and emotional distress, which can set off muscle spasms.”
“…Over time people with SPS may develop abnormal, often hunched over postures. Some people may be too disabled to walk or move. Many fall frequently because they do not have the normal reflexes to catch themselves.”
“Scientists don’t yet understand what causes SPS, but research indicates that it is the result of an autoimmune response gone awry in the brain and spinal cord.”
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