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The artist, Celine Dion, announced that she had been diagnosed with a medical condition that caused the cancellation and postponement of her performances over the past year.
In a social media post on Wednesday, the “My Heart Will Go On” singer said she suffers from Stiff Person Syndrome, a rare, incurable neurological condition that causes severe muscle spasms and stiffness in the extremities.
“Unfortunately, these spasms affect every aspect of my daily life, sometimes causing difficulties when walking and not allowing me to use my vocal cords to sing the way I used to,” Dion said. In an emotional video posted to Instagramwhich she published in her native English and French.
Dion was in the middle of a long concert tour in 2020 when the pandemic interrupted him. It was finally set to restart in February, with another 50 shows planned, but eight have been canceled and 23 shows have been rescheduled for 2024.
“All I know is to sing,” Dion said. “It’s what I’ve done my whole life and it’s what I love to do most.”
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, a division of the National Institutes of Health, defines stiff person syndrome as a neurological disorder with features of an autoimmune disease.
This disorder causes “muscle stiffness fluctuations” and spasms triggered by things like loud noises, cold temperatures, or sudden movement. Spasms can cause or worsen falls, which can lead to further injuries.
Abnormal postures, often hunched over and rigid, are a feature of the disorder. People with SPS can be very unable to walk or move, or afraid to leave the house because street noise, such as the sound of a horn, can trigger convulsions and falls. says the institute.
Stiff person syndrome is rare. It affects “only about one or two out of every million people,” According to the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
The National Institutes of Health says researchers don’t fully understand what causes the disorder, but it could be the result of an autoimmune disorder of the brain and spinal cord. People with SPS have elevated levels of antibodies that target an enzyme that makes an important neurotransmitter in the brain.
Doctors say the disorder is not curable, but treatment with muscle relaxants and anticonvulsants can help improve and control symptoms.
In her announcement, Dion said she draws strength from her three children and believes she is on the road to recovery.
“I work hard with my sports medicine therapist every day to rebuild my strength and ability to perform every single day,” she said. “But I have to admit it was a struggle.”
Dion is one of the most successful singers of all time. She has sold over 200 million records worldwide and achieved several number-one singles on the Billboard charts, including “My Heart Will Go On,” “Power of Love,” and “It All Comes Back to Me Now.” Her years-long residencies in Las Vegas were among the most profitable of all.
The singer was set to start his new residency at Resorts World Las Vegas sometime in 2023. It’s not clear when that residency — which has been repeatedly postponed since 2021 — will begin. She will also make her acting debut in May, when Love Again is a romantic comedy starring Priyanka Choprais scheduled to be released.
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