Celine Dion on Thursday announced that she is suffering from Stiff Person Syndrome, a rare neurological disorder and cancelled her upcoming European tour which included a concert in Cyprus.
The Canadian singer, 54, told her Instagram followers the condition makes her muscles spasm uncontrollably.
It has also left her with difficulties walking and singing, she said.
“Recently I’ve been diagnosed with a very rare neurological disorder called the stiff person syndrome which affects one in a million people.
‘While we’re still learning about this rare condition, we now know this is what’s been causing all the spasms I’ve been having.”
She added: “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.
“It hurts me to tell you today that this means I won’t be ready to restart my tour in Europe in February”.
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Moonlight Show Productions, the company behind Dion’s concert which was scheduled to take place at GSP stadium on June 3, 2023, said that it is in consultation with SoldOut Tickets, to gradually refund ticketholders affected by the cancellation.
Refunds will be automatically paid to the card used for the purchase, within a period of four months. No action is required on behalf of the ticketholders, it explained.
What is Stiff Person Syndrome?
SPS is a rare condition and not well understood.
According to the National Institute for Neurological Disorders, it is characterised by “fluctuating muscle rigidity in the trunk and limbs and a heightened sensitivity to stimuli such as noise, touch, and emotional distress, which can set off muscle spasms.”
“Abnormal postures, often hunched over and stiffened, are characteristic of the disorder,” they also note.
“People with SPS can be too disabled to walk or move, or they are afraid to leave the house because street noises, such as the sound of a horn, can trigger spasms and falls.
“Most individuals with SPS have frequent falls and because they lack the normal defensive reflexes; injuries can be severe.”
While there is no cure for SPS, there are treatments – including anti-anxiety medicines and muscle relaxants.