As it worsens, the condition ultimately leaves sufferers as “human statues” who are unable to walk or talk as the disease locks their bodies into rigid positions.
WASHINGTON — Singer Celine Dion has been diagnosed with an incurable neurological condition, she announced on social media Thursday.
In a five-minute video posted to Dion’s Facebook page and Instagram, she directly addressed fans, apologizing for being silent about the condition.
“As you know, I’ve always been an open book. I wasn’t ready to say anything before, but I’m ready now,” she said at the beginning of the video.
Dion, 54, said she had been diagnosed with “stiff-person syndrome,” a condition that affects one in a million people. Fewer than 5,000 people in the U.S. are estimated to have the syndrome.
“While we’re still learning about this rare condition, we now know that this is what’s been causing all of the spasms I’ve been having,” the singer said.
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the condition is characterized by muscles that tense uncontrollably, and a heightened sensitivity to stimuli such as noise, touch, and emotional distress, which can set off muscle spasms.
Because those with the disease can’t control their bodies effectively, they’re more prone to falling and injuring themselves because they can’t move to catch themselves.
As it worsens, the condition ultimately leaves sufferers as “human statues” who are unable to walk or talk as the disease locks their bodies into rigid positions for hours at a time.
“Unfortunately these spasms affect every aspect of my daily life,” Dion said. “Sometimes causing difficulty when I walk and not allowing me to use my vocal chords to sing the way I’m used to.”
Because of this, Dion said she wouldn’t be able to continue her already-rescheduled European tour, which was set to begin in February 2023.
While there is no cure for stiff-person syndrome, it can be treated with muscle relaxants, anti-convulsants and other drugs.
” With appropriate treatment, the symptoms are usually well controlled,” according to the NINDS website.
Dion said she was receiving medical treatment to slow the progression of the disease.
Dion has been called the ‘Queen Of Las Vegas’ because of her enormously successful residencies there. Her stint at Las Vegas lasted for 16 years and more than 1,000 shows. But last year, she had to cancel the start of a comeback residency at the new Resorts World on the Strip because of health issues, now revealed to be the stiff-person syndrome.
She also canceled the North American dates of her “Courage” tour scheduled for March and April.
Watch the full video Dion posted here: