Due to the immune and progressive disease from which she has been suffering for several months, Celine Dion “has lost control of her muscles”. The older sister of the My Heart Will Go On singer revealed this while speaking to the Canadian site 7 Jours.
Claudette Dion said Celine is “working hard” to stem the consequences of “stiff person syndrome” which affects the central nervous system causing progressive muscle stiffness and severe spasms, but the future of her career is uncertain.
«In our dreams and in his, the idea is to return to the stage. But in what state? I don’t know,” Claudette said, giving fans an update on her sister’s medical situation. Celine, who is 55, canceled concerts in January 2022 due to illness. In December of that same year she announced that «unfortunately the spasms have an impact on every aspect of my daily life, sometimes causing difficulty in walking and not allowing me to use my vocal cords to sing as I was used to».
The vocal cords “are muscles”, Claudine explained today in an update on her sister’s health.
In May, the decision to reluctantly end live performances: “I’m working to regain my strength, but touring is difficult even when you’re in one hundred percent shape,” the singer explained. Rigid person syndrome was diagnosed for the first time in the mid-1950s: it is an incurable and very rare disease (affecting one person in a million) which transforms its victims in the final stages into “human statues”.
Some therapies can alleviate the symptoms, but the stage of research is not progressing, according to Dion’s family, due to the small number of people affected. “It breaks my heart to see her efforts,” said her sister: “Celine has always been so disciplined.”
Meanwhile, Dion has embarked on an unprecedented career as an actress. Her first film, Love Again, released in May, was received positively by critics. And a month ago she was seen in public in Las Vegas with her three children: she had gone to watch a hockey match, the Montreal Canadiens, a team she is a fan, on the pitch against the Vegas Golden Knights, and subsequently posted the photos on her Instagram profile.
The exact causes of stiff person syndrome are not yet fully understood, but it is thought to be an autoimmune disorder, in which the immune system mistakenly attacks its own tissues, in this case the muscles or nerve fibers that control them. Some research has found a correlation between SPS and the presence of antibodies that attack a particular enzyme, called glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD), which is involved in the synthesis of the neurotransmitter GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid).
Symptoms of stiff person syndrome can vary in severity and can significantly interfere with daily activities. Muscle stiffness can limit mobility and cause pain. In some cases, muscle spasms can be so strong that they cause injuries, such as broken bones or falls.
Treatment for stiff person syndrome focuses on controlling symptoms and may include the use of medications that help relax muscles and reduce spasms. Some patients may benefit from immunosuppressive therapies to reduce the activity of the immune system. Physical therapy and other supportive treatments can also be helpful in managing symptoms and improving patients’ quality of life.