Celine Dion Diagnosed With Rare Neurological Disorder

Photo: Edward Berthelot/GC Images

Celine Dion has revealed she is suffering from stiff-person syndrome, a rare neurological disorder that causes progressive muscle stiffness and involuntary spasms. In an Instagram video sharing her diagnosis on Thursday, the singer announced she would be postponing her European tour, adding that the spasms she experiences affect “every aspect” of her daily life, hindering her ability to walk and sing “the way I’m used to.”

Last year, Dion, 54, opened up about her ongoing health issues, postponing the return of her Vegas residency owing to “severe and persistent muscle spasms” and eventually canceling 16 shows in her world tour to recover. Thursday’s announcement marked the first time the singer explicitly shared her diagnosis, which affects one or two in a million people and can be triggered by a variety of stimuli, including movement, cold, emotional distress, and loud noises. According to the National Institute of Health, the progressive disorder affects twice as many women as men and is likely caused by abnormal autoimmune responses in the brain and spinal cord. Patients can be rendered unable to walk or move.

According to CNN, eight of Dion’s summer 2023 shows will be canceled, while her spring 2023 shows will be rescheduled to 2024. On Instagram, Dion thanked fans for their “love and support” and shared details of her treatment, expressing gratitude for her “great team of doctors,” her children, and a sports medicine therapist she says she works with daily to help rebuild strength. Calling the road to recuperation a “struggle,” an emotional Dion told fans she has “no choice but to concentrate” on her health in order to perform again. “All I know is singing,” she said. “It’s what I’ve done all my life, and it’s what I love to do the most. I miss you so much. I miss seeing all of you, being on the stage, performing for you … I hope I can see you again real soon.”

Celine Dion Diagnosed With Rare Neurological Disorder