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Celine Dion loses control of muscles amid battle with stiff-person syndrome

By Brooke Villanueva Published Dec 19, 2023 12:51 pm

Celine Dion has lost control of her muscles in the middle of her battle with a rare neurological disorder known as stiff-person syndrome.

Her sister Claudette gave a health update on the singer in an interview with 7 Jours. "She doesn't have control over her muscles," she said. "What breaks my heart is that she's always been disciplined. She's always worked hard. Our mother always told her, 'You're going to do it well, you're going to do it properly.'"

"It's true that in both our dreams and hers, the goal is to return to the stage. In what capacity? I don't know," she continued.

Claudette said that Celine has been living with their sister Linda in Las Vegas, where the singer is undergoing tests and procedures for her health condition. She's able to hang out with Rene-Charles, Nelson, and Eddy—her children with her late husband Rene Angelil—from time to time.

Celine opened up about being diagnosed with SPS in December 2022, saying it made her decide to cancel her shows scheduled from 2023 to 2024.

In August this year, Claudette said that they were struggling to find any medication that works for Celine. A month later, the former opened up about how her sibling has suffered from the debilitating pain caused by the rare disorder. "There's little we can do to support her, to alleviate her pain," she said at the time, expressing her hope that researchers would finally find a remedy for the illness.

Claudette also shared that Celine promised she would "work hard" to regain her strength and that she's "doing everything to recover."

Stiff-person syndrome is “a rare, progressive syndrome that affects the nervous system, specifically the brain and spinal cord,” according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. It causes muscle stiffness as well as spasms, normally between the ages of 30 and 60. The symptoms can remain stable in some cases, but could get progressively worse in others.

The National Institutes of Health also noted that it affects twice as many women as men. If left untreated, SPS can potentially lead to difficulty walking and significantly impact a person's ability to perform routine daily tasks.