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Céline Dion's stiff person syndrome explained as she makes surprise appearance at Grammys

Céline Dion's stiff person syndrome explained as she makes surprise appearance at Grammys

The 'Queen of Power Ballads' made a rare public appearance at the 2024 Grammys

Superstar singer Céline Dion made a rare public appearance at the 2024 Grammys as she continues to battle a rare health condition.

The 'My Heart Will Go On' vocalist showed up unexpectedly at the awards show on Sunday (4 February) where she presented Taylor Swift with another gong.

Dion, 55, suffers from a rare neurological condition called stiff-person syndrome.

She went public with her diagnosis back in December 2022.

Upon taking to the stage at the Grammys, Dion was greeted with rapturous applause as well as a standing ovation.

Holding back the tears, the 'It's All Coming Back to Me Now' singer said: "When I say that I'm happy to be here, I really mean it."

It was a completely unexpected public appearance for the Canadian after her sister Claudette revealed in December last year that she 'doesn't have control over her muscles'. The condition saw Dion cancel her world tour.

Celine at the Grammys.
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

She said: "She's working hard, but she doesn't have control over her muscles. What breaks my heart is that she's always been disciplined.

"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."

When was Céline Dion diagnosed with stiff person syndrome?

Dion publicly shared her diagnosis in 2022.

She said at the time: “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.

“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."

She was assisted to the front of the stage.
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

What are the symptoms of stiff person syndrome?

Anyone who has stiff person syndrome (SPS) will often experience stiffness in their muscles, particularly in the trunk and abdomen parts of the body (your core).

As the condition worsens, that stiffness spreads to the legs and other muscles. You'll also start spasming in the affected parts of the body.

The muscle spasms tend to regularly be triggered by the same things - such as changes in temperature, light physical touch, loud noises and stress - which can sometimes lead to anxiety.

Walking can become tough and falling over becomes a risk.

SPS is a neurological disorder. Andrew Brookes/
Getty Stock Images

What causes still person syndrome?

Statistically speaking, it is twice as common in women than in men.

At this moment in time, it's still not known what causes SPS, though it is thought to be an autoimmune condition - in which your immune system attacks healthy cells - which specifically affects messaging between the brain and spinal cord.

Often, those with the condition see it misdiagnosed as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, or anxiety.

What is the treatment for stiff person syndrome?

There's no cure as of 2024.

But anti-anxiety drugs and muscle relaxants can relieve symptoms.

Physiotherapy, acupuncture and massages can also help.

Recently, it was discovered a type of immunotherapy called intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) can help treat symptoms too.

Featured Image Credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Topics: Grammys, Music, Health, US News