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Doctor explains Celine Dion's incurable neurological condition which 'turns people into human statues'

Doctor explains Celine Dion's incurable neurological condition which 'turns people into human statues'

The legendary singer announced her diagnosis of Stiff Person Syndrome last December.

It was announced today that Celine Dion has cancelled her current world tour due to her ongoing health issues.

The 'My Heart Will Go On' singer announced she has Stiff Person Syndrome last December, cancelling some tour dates in Las Vegas in the process.

The incurable neurological condition causes severe and even constant muscle spasms, which affects a person's brain and spinal cord, as revealed by the Genetic and Rare Disease Information Center.

The condition is said to 'turn people into human statues'.

Taking to Instagram to announce her diagnosis, Dion wrote: "Hello everyone, I'm sorry it's taken me so long to reach out to you. I miss you all so much and can't wait to be on stage talking to you in person.

"As you know I've always been an open book and I wasn't ready to say anything before but I'm ready now.

"I've been dealing with problems with my health for a long time and it's been really difficult for me to face my challenges and to talk about everything that I've been going through."

She continued: "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."

Celine Dion announced her diagnosis last December.

Prior to the announcement, many fans wondered what exactly the rare condition was.

Luckily, Doctor Scott Newsome explained all - saying it can actually take years for someone to be diagnosed with Stiff Person Syndrome as it is so rare.

"It's a devastating disease," he said. "On average because of how rare it is, early on in the disease, it can mimic a lot of other conditions. It takes about seven years for people to get diagnosed - from symptom onset to actual diagnosis.

"It's really when people start having more disability that comes to the doctor's attention."

Doctor Newsome explained some of the key symptoms of SPS include extreme muscle stiffness, rigidity and painful spasms.

"Someone will present to clinic with their axial torso and muscles quite rigid, they may have tightness in their legs... they get horrific spasms in really any muscle in the body. It's quite painful," the doctor continued.

Doctor Scott Newsome explained all surrounding the condition.
YouTube/Rare Disease Report

"It seems to be adults," the doctor then added in regards of who it affects. "Middle to later in years, and there tends to be a female predominance."

"From the core immunological dysregulation that's happening, we are a little bit behind the game in terms of understanding what's going on in patients," said the doctor, who worked at the department of neurology at John Hopkins at the time of the interview.

"It's this overstimulation that occurs that leads to disability in SPS."

He said the illness is treated with immunosuppressant medications, but other treatments like botox can be used to tackle the spasticity and tightness caused by SPS.

Featured Image Credit: Rare Disease Report/YouTube / @celinedion/Instagram

Topics: Health, Music, Celebrity