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Celine Dion diagnosed with rare neurological disorder called stiff person syndrome, cancels tour

Celine Dion reveals battle with rare neurological disorder
Celine Dion reveals battle with rare neurological disorder 02:28

NEW YORK - Superstar Celine Dion has revealed a personal health battle. 

She's been diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder. It's affecting her everyday life and her singing. 

"Hello, everyone. I'm sorry it's taken me so long to reach out to you. I miss you all so much. And I can't wait to be onstage talking to you in person," Dion said in the message, which she posted on Instagram. 

Dion is one of the most popular entertainers in the world, and now she's opening up about her awful struggle.

"I want to thank you so much for your encouraging wishes of love and support on my social media. This means a lot to me," she said. 

Dion said she has to cancel her European tour scheduled for February, because of a terrifying illness."

Recently I have been diagnosed with a very rare neurological disorder called the stiff person syndrome, which affects something like one in a million people," Dion said. 

Stiff person syndrome is what some doctors say is muscles rebelling against the body, causing severe spasms in the body,

"These are triggered by surprise or unknown noises and stimuli stresses," said Dr. Steven Markos of JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute in Edison, N.J. 

Markos says the disease could be particularly challenging to an entertainer like Dion.

"Certainly on the stage, or any other time when this can happen, can be very debilitating and painful," Markos said. 

For now, Dion says she needs all her energy to get well, but looks forward to coming back.

"Take care of yourselves. Be well. I love you guys so much, and I really hope I get to see you again real soon. Thank you," she said. 

The doctors say while they have treatment for the symptoms, they don't have one to address the progressive nature of the disease itself, which gets WORSE over time. 

According to the National Institutes of Health, "people with SPS can be too disabled to walk or move, or they are afraid to leave the house because street noises, such as the sound of a horn, can trigger spasms and falls."

The NIH says treatment can "improve the symptoms of SPS, but will not cure the disorder. Most individuals with SPS have frequent falls and because they lack the normal defensive reflexes; injuries can be severe. With appropriate treatment, the symptoms are usually well controlled. "

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