What is stiff-person syndrome as Celine Dion cancels world tour?

Celine Dion singing

Celine Dion has cancelled her Courage world tour (Picture: WireImage)

Celine Dion has announced that she’s cancelled her world tour as she battles a rare neurological health condition called stiff-person syndrome.

The It’s All Coming Back to Me singer, 55, took to Instagram to share the news with fans, writing: ‘I’m so sorry to disappoint all of you once again.

‘I’m working really hard to build back my strength, but touring can be very difficult even when you’re 100%.

‘It’s not fair to you to keep postponing the shows, and even though it breaks my heart, it’s best that we cancel everything now until I’m really ready to be back on stage again. I want you all to know, I’m not giving up… and I can’t wait to see you again!’

In December 2022, Celine postponed the concerts as she shared news of her diagnosis with her supporters.

The Grammy-winning singer was previously due to perform across Europe in September 2023, with more shows in March and April 2024, including a date at London’s O2 Arena.

What is stiff-person syndrome?

Stiff-person syndrome (SPS) is a rare autoimmune movement disorder that affects the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord).

The condition ultimately leaves sufferers as ‘human statues’ as it progressively locks the body into rigid positions, leaving people unable to walk or talk. 

As the disease progresses, patients sometimes become unable to walk or bend.

It affects twice as many women as men.

What are the symptoms of SPF?

The singer was initially forced to postpone the tour dates (Picture: AFP)

Symptoms of stiff-person syndrome can take several months to a few years to develop. Some patients remain stable for years; others slowly worsen.

Symptoms include pain, muscle stiffness and aching.

Early on, stiffness may come and go but eventually, the stiffness remains constant.

Over time, leg muscles become stiff and more muscles throughout your body become stiff including the arms and even the face.

How is it treated?

Celine has kept fans updated and thanked them for their support (Picture: Getty Images)

Treatments for SPS involve anti-anxiety drugs, muscle relaxants, anti-convulsants, and pain relievers, which improve the symptoms, but there is no cure.

In her Instagram video, posted December 2022, Dion shared: ‘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…

‘I have a great team of doctors working alongside me to help me get better and my precious children who are supporting me and giving me help.’

The My Heart Will Go On megastar revealed that she has been ‘working hard’ with a sports medicine therapist to build her strength, but admitted ‘it’s been a struggle’.

MORE : Celine Dion returning with new music after revealing devastating stiff person syndrome battles

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Source:: Metro


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