What is Stiff Person Syndrome? Neurological disease which Celine Dion has been diagnosed with

The disease can bring on spasms and muscle rigidity
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Singer Celine Dion has announced today that she has been diagnosed with a rare neurological disease known as Stiff Person Syndrome. Celine posted a video on social media telling her followers about her diagnosis.

The disease impacts the lower limbs and can bring on muscle spasms. The illness typically affects people who are aged between 40 and 60, the fourth and sixth decade of their lives.  According to The Tin Man, a website dedicated to covering all things SPS, Stiff-person syndrome is “a combination of symptoms which can include muscle stiffness, rigidity, spasm, muscle overactivity, specific contractions, seizure activity, and heightened response to stimuli resulting in exaggerated startle reflex triggered by noise, touch, or emotional distress.”

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The site points out some of the symptoms and how the pattern of the disease begins. It reads: “The classic pattern begins with stiffness and rigidity of the axial (skull, spine, and tailbone) muscles and can progress to the limbs. Stiff limb variants first affect primarily the leg muscles, and occasionally the arm muscles.”

The National Library of Medicine defines Stiff Person Syndrome as: “A condition characterised by persistent spasms (SPASM) involving multiple muscles, primarily in the lower limbs and trunk. The illness tends to occur in the fourth to sixth decade of life, presenting with intermittent spasms that become continuous.

“Minor sensory stimuli, such as noise and light touch, precipitate severe spasms. Spasms do not occur during sleep and only rarely involve cranial muscles.  Respiration may become impaired in advanced cases.”

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