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"Stiff man syndrome": what is this very rare disease from which Celine Dion suffers?


Celine Dion, postponing her European tour, has announced that she suffers from stiff man syndrome which causes, in particular, muscle spasms.

“I've always been an open book, but until now I wasn't ready to talk about what I had to go through.

In a short video posted on Instagram this Thursday, Canadian singer Celine Dion put a word on the health problems she has been suffering "for a long time", forcing her to have to postpone her European tour once again.

She admitted to having stiff-man syndrome.

As Céline Dion says, her eyes shining with sadness, this disease is “the cause of the muscle spasms from which I suffer” and which “affect my everyday life”.

"I sometimes have a lot of difficulty walking, and I can't always use my vocal cords to sing as I would like," she continues, thus justifying the postponement of the start of her European tour, scheduled for February.


“No more singing is unimaginable”: tears in her eyes, Celine Dion cancels her summer tour

“Stiff-man syndrome is a rare neurological pathology associating fluctuating rigidity of the trunk and limbs, painful muscle spasms, phobia associated with the performance of certain tasks, a tendency to startle exaggeratedly and ankylosing deformities” , summarizes Orphanet, a reference platform in the medical community, dedicated to rare diseases.

One in a million affected

Little is known about this disease, which may explain delays in diagnosis by the medical profession.

It is, however, an autoimmune pathogen, with patients usually having high amounts of anti-GAD antibodies.

It is uncommon: it is estimated that only one person in a million in the world suffers from it and that two thirds of the sufferers are women.

"The peak of incidence is around 45 years old, with symptoms evolving over months or years", further specifies Orphanet.

Celine Dion, who has been suffering from muscle spasms for at least several months, is now 54 years old.

The life of the sick becomes, without treatment, gradually a hell.

In addition to muscle stiffness – leading to immobility of the trunk and hips (leading to a rigid gait) – “spontaneous or reflex muscle spasms” which can cause falls, which are sometimes dangerous.

“It's true that she has muscle spasms;

I saw her myself with a little twisted leg, ”said the artist’s sister at the end of October.

These symptoms are reinforced in public, the patient then developing a “pseudo-agoraphobia”.

Treatments, most of them based on tranquilizers such as benzodiazepines, exist allowing “to control the symptoms in the majority of patients”.

Celine Dion wants to believe it, and still hopes to go back on stage while the concerts from March (including those which must take place in Paris) are still planned: "To find you, I have no other choice but to focus on health.

I'm hopeful that I'm on the right track.


Source: leparis

All life articles on 2022-12-08

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