Stiff-Person Syndrome: Here's everything about Celine Dion's rare illness
Celine Dion recently revealed in an emotional video that she has been diagnosed with "a very rare neurological disorder." The disease is affecting her singing, owing to which the artist behind My Heart Will Go On had to cancel her Europe tour which was scheduled for February 2023. Here's everything you should know about Stiff-Person Syndrome, the rare disease that Dion is currently battling.
Here's what our expert says
- Stiff-Person Syndrome is a rare autoimmune disease that has no cure.
- Its symptoms which consist of painful muscle spasms and muscle stiffness can be ameliorated with painkillers, anxiolytic drugs, and muscle relaxants.
- Various triggers like physical stress, psychological stress, loud sounds, infections, etc. can trigger an episode of severe painful muscle spasms.
- Although there is no cure, medications can make life comfortable.
Stiff-Person Syndrome occurs one in every one million people
Stiff-Person Syndrome is an exceptionally rare autoimmune movement disorder that affects one's central nervous system. This rare disease occurs in about one in every one million people! It is usually diagnosed in middle-aged people and is a situation that manifests itself in form of pains and spasms. Additionally, it gets triggered by noise, stress, and even a light physical touch.
Here's Dion's announcement on Instagram
Scientists have not been able to find its causes yet
Many studies, experiments, and research have been conducted to find out the causes of Stiff-Person Syndrome but to no avail. Even today, scientists have not been able to find what causes this rare disease. However, they have been able to dawn upon the fact that it is a condition of an autoimmune response creating imbalance in the brain and spinal chord.
Symptoms can take several months or years to show up
Stiff-Person Syndrome is like a slow poison. Research reveals that its symptoms can take several months or years at a time to show up. While some remain stable during this process, most people experience worsening health conditions with time. Painful muscle spasms, stiffness around the abdomen, torso, arms, or legs, disturbed sleep, and hunched posture are some common symptoms to check.
Medicines may improve several symptoms including anxiety and muscle stiffness
There are a few oral medicines available that can help ease symptoms for those with Stiff-Person Syndrome. Anti-anxiety and muscle relaxant drugs can come to the rescue to alleviate the painful spasms. Additionally, many studies have shown the efficacy of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) treatment in reducing stiffness, and sensitivity to noise and touch, and improving the body's overall balance to prevent falls.