Celine Dion surprised millions as she closed the Grammys on Sunday by awarding Taylor Swift the coveted Album of the Year award amid her private battle with a rare disease and stiff-person syndrome.
The Canadian pop superstar, 55, made his first stage appearance in three years and looked healthy as ever in an ivory dress and camel coat, telling the adoring stars: “I love you too.”
The singer revealed in 2022 that she suffered from the condition, a degenerative and autoimmune neurological disease. A disorder that causes severe muscle spasms and is believed to affect only one in a million people.
Doctors believe it is caused by a Failure of the immune system that causes the body’s fighting cells to attack its own nerves, leading to serious problems with movement of the torso and legs, as well as bone fractures.
Fans took to social media to express their surprise at the singer’s seemingly healthy appearance, given recent accounts from Dion’s sister that she had “lost control of her muscles.”
However, in expert opinion, your bright-eyed appearance is likely due to a combination of medications and specialized exercises.
The Canadian superstar, 55, looked healthy and happy at the Grammys on Sunday amid her private battle with stiff person syndrome.
While there is no known cure for stiff person syndrome, symptoms can be controlled with certain medications, including immunosuppressants, steroids, muscle relaxants, and sedatives.
And according to previous reports, Dion could benefit from specialized physical therapy to improve his muscle strength, courtesy of his sports medicine therapist.
He is also said to be working with “the best researchers in the world” on this disorder.
When treating a person with SPS, doctors usually address both the symptoms and the underlying immune system problem.
Dr. Steven Vernino, a neurologist who treats autoimmune neurological disorders at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Texas, saying: ‘SPS treatment focuses on controlling symptoms, reducing pain and improving mobility. Neurologists usually start by prescribing muscle relaxants.
“In the case of SPS, sometimes very high doses of muscle relaxants are needed.”
The first line of treatment is with a low dose of an anti-anxiety medication called diazepam. It belongs to the class of medications known as benzodiazepines, which are often used as muscle relaxants.
Doctors may also add a medication that stops seizures, such as levetiracetam or pregabalin.
Most people with SPS have specific antibodies in their blood that interfere with the action of a neurotransmitter called GABA, which causes overly excitable motor neurons and eventually muscle spasms and stiffness.
GABA is essential for dampening the activity of nerve cells and, specifically in cases of stiff person syndrome, for regulating muscle tone and movement.
Benzodiazepines act by binding to specific receptors that help improve the action of GABA.
Dion spoke publicly about her diagnosis in 2022, telling fans that SPS had forced her to cancel tour dates.
Doctors typically move on to immunotherapies that goal of protecting the body of your own immune system.
Dr Vernino said: ‘Some patients do well with muscle relaxants alone. For more severe cases, patients may need immunotherapy or immunosuppressive medications to reduce antibodies against GAD.
The cancer drug Rituximab, for example, is an injectable monoclonal antibody that targets immune cells to modulate the body’s immune response.
The treatment is most commonly used for a type of blood cancer called non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Azathioprine, methotrexate, and cyclophosphamide are other medications used to address the autoimmune side of the disease that dampens the activity of the immune system.
And there are several non-drug therapies that can help.
Dr. Marinos Dalakas, a neurologist at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, said, “Although not always necessary, preferred, or tolerated, selective physical therapy (such as aquatic therapy, deep tissue massage, heat, or ultrasound therapy) ) may offer benefits to some patients. at various stages of the disease.
“A few patients follow some non-pharmacological techniques to release stress, including cognitive/behavioral therapies, yoga or mediation, but the benefits are not documented and the choice of such therapies is completely individualized and done independently.”