What to know as Celine Dion cancels tour after stiff-person syndrome diagnosis
Dion announced in December that he had been diagnosed with an incurable neurological disease that causes muscle stiffness and spasms. At the time, she said the medical condition made it difficult for her to walk and sing.
The rest of his European tour, which was to include 42 performances in cities such as Amsterdam, Paris, London and Berlin, was set to resume this August until April 2024. Dion previously performed 52 concerts before halting the tour in March 2020. Epidemic
“We sincerely hope that someday soon, Celine will be able to come to all these cities in Europe to perform for her amazing fans, but now is not the time,” Dion posted in a news release. said in the release.
Experts in rigid person syndrome say symptoms usually don’t affect a person’s lifespan and can be controlled with treatment, but the disorder, which is considered autoimmune, can be painful. can In some cases, it can affect the muscles used for speech and singing.
The Grammy-winning megastar, known for “My Heart Will Go On” and other ’90s hits, recently shot new songs for the Priyanka Chopra and Sam Hagen starrer rom-com “Love Again” and was involved in the recording.
Dion concluded his message to fans: “It’s not fair for you to keep postponing shows, and even though it breaks my heart, it’s best that we cancel everything until I Don’t be ready to get back on stage again. I want you all to know, I’m not giving up… and I can’t wait to see you again!”
What is stiff person syndrome?
Stiff person syndrome (SPS) is a rare, chronic neurological disorder that causes muscle stiffness and sometimes severe muscle spasms in the trunk and limbs, affecting posture, balance and the ability to use certain muscles. Experts say it usually has an autoimmune component and can be progressive and painful in some cases.
Andrew McKeon, a professor of neurology at the Mayo Clinic, said SPS affects the spinal nerves and neurons in the brain that regulate movement. In other words, when the nervous system becomes overexcited, it can send too many signals to the muscles, causing them to stiffen or spasm.
A person’s “whole body can seize up in shock or other situations,” he said, putting him at risk of falling and injuring himself.
Experts say the syndrome affects twice as many women as men, and although it can affect a person at any age, it is most often diagnosed in middle-aged people.
What are the symptoms of stiff person syndrome?
SPS causes muscle stiffness, muscle pain and muscle spasms, often in the lower back and legs, which can make walking difficult for some patients. People with symptoms that are not well controlled may need to use a walker or wheelchair to prevent falls or injury.
Muscle spasms are what neurologists call them. “Stimulus sensitive” and can be provoked by sudden noise, light touch or even emotional distress. One form of the condition can affect the muscles that control the eyes, speaking or singing, or swallowing.
“Imagine you have the worst charley horse but it’s affecting a ton of muscles in your back and legs — and it’s permanent. It’s very painful,” says Kunal Desai, assistant professor of neurology at Yale University. said
Chi-Ying “Roy” Lin, a neurology professor who specializes in movement disorders at Baylor College of Medicine, said that in the cases he’s seen, the patients were “very, very restless, and it’s usually But it’s very painful.”
He added that when the pain occurs, it is very debilitating no matter what position it is in. “Basically there is no comfortable place for them to sit or lie down.”
The condition usually only affects skeletal muscles that we can control, not smooth muscles or those found in the heart. It does not seem to affect cognition, but may be associated with anxiety.
What is the life expectancy of someone with rigid person syndrome?
Although SPS is rare and not fully understood, experts say the syndrome generally has no effect on longevity, except in the rarest of cases involving breathing or swallowing. Muscles are affected.
When symptoms are well controlled, patients can lead relatively normal lives. However, when the symptoms are not controlled, they can lead to significant impairments, experts say.
Lin said the primary impact is on quality of life. “I don’t think in the cases that I’ve seen, their quality of life ever gets back to normal,” Lin said.