Canadian singer Celine Dion shocked the world Thursday when she revealed that she has been diagnosed with a rare neurological condition called stiff person syndrome (SPS), forcing her to postpone several upcoming tour dates in Europe.
The 54-year-old singer of “My Heart Will Go On,” from the movie Titanic, has postponed or canceled multiple performances over the past year due to health concerns, describing her symptoms as “severe and persistent muscle spasms” — one of the primary symptoms of SPS.
“While we’re still learning about this rare condition, we now know this is what’s been causing all of the spasms that I’ve been having,” Dion said in a video posted to her social media accounts. “Unfortunately, these spasms affect every aspect of my daily life, sometimes causing difficulties when I walk and not allowing me to use my vocal cords to sing the way I’m used to.”
Amanda Piquet, MD, associate professor of neurology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and and director of the Autoimmune Neurology Program at CU's Rocky Mountain MS Center, specializes in treating people with SPS, which she describes as a neurologic autoimmune disease.
We spoke to Piquet to learn more about SPS and how it’s diagnosed and treated.