Celine Dion cancels world tour as her 'human statue' condition Stiff Person Syndrome worsens

Celine Dion performing back in 2019. Credit: AP

Celine Dion has announced she will be cancelling the remainder of her Courage World Tour due to concerns about her health.

The Canadian singer had previously postponed her planned shows after publicly sharing that she had been diagnosed with a disorder known as Stiff Person Syndrome.

Celine took to Instagram to tell fans that with 'tremendous disappointment' she will be unable to perform on her world tour.

She said: "I'm so sorry to disappoint all of you once again... and even though it breaks my heart, it's best that we cancel everything until I'm really ready to be back on stage... I'm not giving up… and I can't wait to see you again!"

The singer also posted the full list of tour dates that had been cancelled, stating everyone who had bought a ticket would receive a refund.

It comes after she managed to complete more than 50 dates of her Courage World Tour in North America before the Covid pandemic.

What is stiff person syndrome (SPS)?

SPS is a rare, progressive neurological disorder of the central nervous system and affects around one in a million people, according to the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD).

There is no cure for SPS but treatment, such as anti-seizure drugs, painkillers and anti-anxiety medication, can help lessen symptoms.

If left untreated it can lead to permanent disability or death.

The symptoms usually develop slowly over several months or years, often beginning with muscle stiffness and discomfort which can come and go - but the stiffness gradually becomes fixed.

Some develop a "statue-like" appearance due to the rigidity.

Many also experience painful muscle spasms that can last a few minutes to several hours and may affect the whole body or certain muscles. The spasms can be triggered by unexpected loud noises, minor physical contact, cold environments, stress, or situations that cause heightened emotions, says the NORD.

Spasms in the chest and respiratory muscles can be serious and require ventilation or emergency treatment, while spasms in the legs often lead to falls.

Experts still do not know the exact cause of SPS and is often underdiagnosed.

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