Céline Dion announced she had been diagnosed with stiff person syndrome in December 2022, but how has the disease progressed since her diagnosis?

What Is Stiff Person Syndrome?

Stiff person syndrome is a rare autoimmune neurological disorder that can greatly impact a person’s quality of life as they lose control of their muscles. The syndrome was named after the disease’s primary effect which causes a person’s muscles to spasm and lock up. It typically begins in the torso area but can expand to their legs, making walking difficult.

The ailment isn’t curable and is more common in women than men. It often also leads to chronic pain and can even cause difficulty breathing if a person’s chest muscles begin to spasm. The spasms can be caused by a range of things such as cold temperatures, being startled and emotional distress.

What’s the Latest on Celine Dion’s Battle With Stiff Person Syndrome?

Before she revealed her diagnosis, fans had concerns about the “My Heart Will Go On” singer’s health when she canceled concerts in January and April 2022 due to health troubles. In May 2023, Céline was forced to cancel the remaining shows in her Courage world tour which was scheduled to run until 2024.

“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%,” Céline wrote on her website when she announced the cancellation. “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!”

Celine Dion singing in front of a mic while wearing a baby blue suit.
Getty Images / Getty Images

She also gave fans an emotional update on her condition in a video on Instagram in December 2022.

“The 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,” Céline said to the camera.

The superstar didn’t return to the stage at all in 2023, and her sister, Claudette Dion, gave fans an update on Céline in December with 7Jours.

“She works hard, but she doesn’t have control of her muscles,” Claudette told interviewers. “What pains me is that she has always been disciplined. She always worked hard. The vocal cords are muscles, and the heart is also a muscle.”

She added that scientists “didn’t do that much research because it didn’t affect that many people.”

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