Celine Dion’s tragic health update as she battles Stiff Person Syndrome

Celine Dion’s tragic health update as she battles Stiff Person Syndrome
  • PublishedDecember 19, 2023

Celine Dion has “lost control of her muscles” as she battles the rare condition known as Stiff Person Syndrome.

The 55-year-old singer revealed her diagnosis in December 2022 after the condition forced her to cancel her Courage World Tour.

“What breaks my heart is that she’s always been disciplined,” Claudette said.

“She’s always worked hard.

“Our mother always told her, ‘You’re going to do it well. You’re going to do it properly’.”

“The vocal cords are muscles, and the heart is also a muscle. This is what comes to get me.

“Because it’s (a) one out of a million case, the scientists haven’t done that much research because it didn’t affect that many people.

“Some people have lost hope because it’s an illness that isn’t well known.

“People tell us they love her, and they’re praying for her. She gets so many messages, presents and blessed crucifixes.”

Celine Dion.

Dion rarely posts to social media now, but in October she took to Instagram, sharing a picture posing with her three sons at an ice hockey game.

“My boys and I had such a fun time visiting with the Montreal Canadiens after their hockey game with Vegas Golden Knights in Las Vegas Monday night,” she wrote.

“They played so well, what a game! Thank you for meeting us after the game, guys!

“That was memorable for all of us. Have a great season! Celine xx”.

The My Heart Will Go On singer had three sons, 13-year-old twins Nelson and Eddy and 22-year-old Rene-Charles with her late husband Rene Angelil.

Celine Dion shared this photo on her personal Instagram.

Angelil died in 2016, aged 73, after a battle with head and neck cancer.

The pair had been married for 22 years.

The rare Instagram update prompted fans to take to the comment section, wishing the singer well.

“These photos are priceless!! Thank you, Celine. Grateful you look so strong, healthy and relaxed,” one fan wrote.

“You are missed, but first priority is you and your boys.”

“You don’t know how much we’ve missed you,” another fan wrote.

“So happy to finally see you smiling and having fun as you always did!

“We love you, Queen.”

A third added: “We love you, Celine! We hope you get well soon and enchant us again with your wonderful shows.”

Celine Dion recently appeared in the movie Love Again.

In August this year, Dion’s other sister, Linda, confirmed she had moved in with the singer to help as she struggled with her condition.

But Claudette recently shot down claims that Dion was now confined to a wheelchair.

“I know that morally, mentally, she is strong. She is not depressed at all … she really has the joy of living. We will get through this,” Claudette told French publication showbizz.net.

“Why do they say she is in a wheelchair? Why do they say she had cancer?

“Why are you inventing?”

What is Stiff Person Syndrome?

In a video posted to her Instagram page on December 8 last year, Dion explained she had recently been diagnosed with the disorder.

“We now know this is what’s been causing all of the spasms that I’ve been having,” she said.

“Unfortunately, these spasms affect every aspect of my daily life, sometimes causing difficulties when I walk and not allowing me to use my vocal cords to sing the way I’m used to.

“I’m working hard with my sports medicine therapist every day to build back my strength and my ability to perform again, but I have to admit it has been a struggle.”

Celine Dion

Researchers have described Stiff Person Syndrome as a neurological disorder which also has the features of an autoimmune disease.

It causes muscle stiffness in a person’s torso and limbs, and also a heightened sensitivity to noise, touch, and stress.

These factors can set off painful muscle spasms.

Scott Newsome, director of the Stiff Person Syndrome Centre at Johns Hopkins Medicine in the US, called it “a devastating disease”.

“It’s quite painful, so people will go around with these chronic pain syndromes, go from one doctor to another trying to figure out what is causing these really bad spasms,” he said.

“Sometimes they get labelled crazy.”

Newsome said that because the condition is so rare, it can sometimes take upwards of seven years for people to receive the correct diagnosis.

How is it diagnosed and treated?

Because the symptoms can be similar to other conditions, it’s not always easy to diagnose.

People with the syndrome have elevated levels of certain antibodies in their blood, so a definitive diagnosis can be made with a blood test that measures those levels, according to TODAY.com.

There is no cure, but treatment can include medication to control muscle spasms, anticonvulsant drugs, and aqua therapy, according to Yale Medicine.

“A lot of people can make a recovery to the point that their condition is stable,” Dr Desimir Mijatovic, a pain medicine specialist with the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, told TODAY.com in 2022.

“They’re not worsening anymore.

“They can continue to live fairly mobile (lives).”

Mijatovic said Dion could possibly recover to the point where she is able to perform again.

“I definitely think it’s something that’s possible, and it’s something that I’m sure a lot of people look forward to,” he said.


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