Skip to main contentSkip to footer

Celine Dion diagnosed with stiff person syndrome: what are the symptoms and causes?

What is stiff person syndrome?

stiff person syndrome
Melanie Macleod
Melanie MacleodWellness Editor
Share this:

Celine Dion took to Instagram on Thursday to share that she has been diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder called stiff person syndrome.

READ: Celine Dion shares devastating health update as she cancels all her shows

Celine said that stiff person syndrome impacts "one in a million people," before explaining how she is treating the condition.

VIDEO: Find out what Celine Dion said about her diagnosis

What is stiff person syndrome?

As Celine Dion said, stiff person syndrome is a rare neurological disorder.

RELATED: The reason behind Celine Dion's weight loss revealed

READ: Selma Blair reduces fans to tears with emotional new appearance amid MS battle

Symptoms of stiff person syndrome include muscle rigidity in the trunk and arms, often triggered by noise, touch and emotional distress. Celine's condition is characterised by muscle spasms.

People with stiff person syndrome suffer from frequent falls, because they lack defensive reflexes to save themselves.

Celine Dion singing on stage in a glittery red dress© Photo: Getty Images

Celine Dion is unable to perform due to stiff person syndrome

Sufferers are often unable to walk or move, and it's twice as common in women than in men.

celine dion wearing a statement blue dress on stage© Photo: Getty Images

Stiff person syndrome symptoms include muscle rigidity

What causes stiff person syndrome?

It's not known what causes the disorder, and it's often misdiagnosed as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, psychosomatic illness, or anxiety and phobia.

Can you cure stiff person syndrome?

The disorder doesn't have a cure, though anti-anxiety drugs, muscle relaxants, and anti-convulsants. Pain relief can also improve symptoms.

Celine said that spasms caused by stiff person syndrome impact every aspect of her daily life. "They sometimes cause difficulties when I walk, and it's not allowing me to use my vocal cords to sing the way I am used to."

"I have a great team of doctors working alongside me to help me get better and 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's been a struggle," Celine continued.

It was in October 2021 when Celine first revealed that her ill health meant she would be delaying her Las Vegas shows, and she's not taken to the stage since.

The much-loved superstar has had to tearfully cancel and postpone numerous tour dates, leaving both her and her fans devastated.

Like this story? Sign up to our HELLO! Mail newsletter to receive all the latest royal and celebrity news straight in your inbox.

More Health & Fitness

See more