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Celine Dion’s battle with stiff person syndrome: Seeking a cure amidst health struggles

Celine Dion’s health battle with Stiff Person Syndrome affects her singing and forces her to postpone concerts. She seeks a cure while prioritizing her well-being.



Celine Dion‘s sister, Claudette, is sharing an update on the singer’s health on the singer’s health amid her battle with Stiff Person Syndrome diagnosis. This condition has been identified as the cause of the frequent seizures she has experienced in recent times.

In an interview with Le Journal de Montreal, Claudette revealed that their sister, Linda, has moved into Celine’s home, where she also lives with her three sons René-Charles, Eddy, and Nelson, to aid in her care.

The singer had previously faced muscle spasms, which led to the postponement of a residency in Las Vegas back in October 2021. However, at that time, Dion had not publicly announced her diagnosis.

The 55-year-old singer first shared her diagnosis in December 2022 in an emotional video posted to Instagram, @celinedion, where she opened up about the rare and incurable neurological disease.

“’I’ve been dealing with problems with my health for a long time, and it’s been really difficult for me to face these challenges and to talk about everything that I’ve been going through…It hurts me to tell you that I won’t be ready to restart my tour in Europe in February.” – Céline,” she wrote.


Netizens were seen giving comments with sympathetic and uplifting tones.

“Celine, I so thank you for your wonderful career since singing for Switzerland in the Eurovision down to the wonderful songs you have blessed us with over time. And now you are facing these difficulties without the help of your beloved René I pray that you will feel God drawing close to you. Rest on your creator who knows your weakness and, in his grace, and mercy will give you strength to face the future. May God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ comfort and sustain you. Blessing to you and your family,” the account @clivepla** gave a comment.

“We love you very much Celine Dion! You are an incredible and unique singer. One of the best singers in the world! We send you so much good vibes to be healthy very,” @insta.canstan*** added. “Jesus is the best doctor. I will start praying for u and I promise u you will get better. Jesus have saved me so many times and I am sure he can save you as well dear Celine. Don’t give up. Someone has a special love for u. Amen,” @katrinvig*** send a prayer.


In addition to affecting her mobility, the syndrome has rendered her unable to use her vocal cords to sing as she once could.

In a statement to Reuters on 9 December last year, she admitted, “While we are still learning about this rare condition, we now know that it is the Stiff-Person Syndrome that is causing all the seizures I have been experiencing. Unfortunately, these seizures have affected every aspect of my daily life, sometimes making it difficult to walk and preventing me from using my voice to sing as usual.”

As a consequence, Dion has been forced to cancel 42 concert dates of her Courage World Tour until April 2024.

Health prioritized over performance

Celine announced the news on her Twitter account earlier on 26 May this year and shared a statement saying that she “cannot complete the remainder of the tour” after her diagnosis of Stiff Person Syndrome.

“As the world emerges from the pandemic, Celine continues to be treated for a diagnosed medical condition that prevents her from performing. Celine is working hard towards her recovery,” the statement continued.

The statement on Twitter also mentioned that Celine Dion promises to return to perform in various cities in Europe, but not at the moment.

“We hope that someday Celine will be able to come to all these cities in Europe to perform for her incredible fans, but the time is not now,” the statement added.

It was also mentioned that Celine Dion is currently undergoing intensive medical treatment. “Celine’s medical team continues to evaluate and treat her condition,” the statement concluded.


Celine Dion expressed her longing for her fans but emphasized that her health is her primary focus at present.

She revealed that she is diligently working with her sports medicine therapists every day to regain her strength and abilities to perform again. Nevertheless, she acknowledged that it is a struggle.

Illustration – muscles spasm

Her sister, Claudette, disclosed that Celine is actively searching for a suitable cure for her condition. “I spoke with my sister, Linda, who lives with her, and she told me that she (Celine) is working hard (to find a cure),” said Claudette, as reported by Mirror on last Friday (4 Aug).

“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. At one point, your heart and your body are trying to tell you something. It’s important to listen to it,” she added of Celine’s decision to step away from performing.

She further added that Celine is in close consultation with top researchers in the field of SPS in hopes of finding a solution. The family maintains hope and trusts Celine’s determination, knowing her disciplined nature in all aspects of life.

Rare Autoimmune Movement Disorder

According to Cleveland Clinic, Stiff-Person Syndrome is a rare autoimmune movement disorder that affects the central nervous system, including the brain and spinal cord. The condition begins with muscle stiffness, which progressively extends to the legs and other muscle groups.

Painful muscle spasms are also characteristic of the syndrome, which can occur randomly or be triggered by various factors such as loud noises, emotional stress, or light physical touch.

Over time, the disorder can lead to postural changes and limit the ability to walk and move. While some individuals manage their symptoms with ongoing treatment, there is no known cure for SPS.

Researchers believe it is an autoimmune disorder where the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells, particularly the enzyme glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) responsible for producing the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which helps control muscle movements.

The symptoms of SPS can take several months to years to develop, and they can vary in severity.

The stiffness and rigidity of muscles can lead to discomfort and pain. Painful muscle spasms may last from seconds to minutes or even hours, often exacerbating muscle stiffness.

Seizures can occur without a clear cause or be triggered by unexpected loud noises, physical touch, cold environments, or emotionally stressful events.

The prevalence of SPS is extremely low, with only about one in every one million people diagnosed with the syndrome.

It is more common in women than men and typically develops between the ages of 30 and 60.

Certain conditions, including autoimmune disorders like diabetes, thyroiditis, vitiligo, and pernicious anemia, as well as specific cancers like breast, lung, kidney, thyroid, colon, and Hodgkin lymphoma, are more associated with the occurrence of SPS.

As of now, the treatment for SPS mainly focuses on managing symptoms and improving mobility and comfort. M

edications such as benzodiazepines, muscle relaxants, and neuropathic pain medications can help decrease stiffness, rigidity, and painful muscle spasms.

Additionally, therapies like physical therapy, massage, hydrotherapy, heat therapy, and acupuncture may assist in symptom management.

Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) treatment has shown some promise in improving symptoms for certain individuals with SPS, as it contains immunoglobulins from healthy individuals with strong immune systems.


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