July 2017 Newsletter - "Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) vs The New Birth" by Dr. Roni Burton, MD

“Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.  Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” Matt 5:11 & 12.

We live in a world today where so much information is available about everything.  About how things work, or don’t work.  How to fix what is broken, if it’s truly broken.  Is the perception of “brokenness” just a “normal variant” and doesn’t need fixing or is there a deep flaw requiring self-sacrifice to restore it?  So many questions with so many answers with more questions at the click of the mouse.

Here at Forerunner Ministries International, under the headship of Dr. Michael Petro, there are many questions as well.  The answers, however, are more revelatory in the order of the atypical.  Why?  Because we believe and understand the revelations of Yahusha’s words, “and these signs shall follow them that believe; in My name shall thy cast out devils, they shall speak with new tongues (the language of mysteries); they shall take up serpents (as Moses lifted the tail of the serpent at the burning bush) and if they drink any deadly thing (old wine, potion, carnal teaching) it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick (spirit, soul, or body) and they shall recover”.  Mark 16:17 & 18 (emphasis added).

Dyslexia is one of the “cast out” things we have see in this ministry due to the revelatory Word.  I was doing some reading on dyslexia and what I discovered from the medical side is that it affects children, mostly affecting their ability to read.  Not recognizing letters, spelling, sounding out words; thus, these children perform poorly in reading despite being very intelligent.  If suspected, early evaluation and adaptive strategies can be helpful.  However, compared to the power of the Word to heal an adult who struggled most of her life due to this persistent diagnosis, who is now fully restored and able to read complex literature, such as the works of the Ante-Nicene Fathers, with understanding, I believe are among the miraculous “signs” following those with right understanding of Yahusha’s words.  Among those testimonies is that of Alice Padilla (click here to see the video).

In the course of reading about dyslexia, I ran across FTD.  So why the question?  What does FTD have to do with the new birth experience?

As with most mysteries, there is first the natural then the spiritual (1 Cor 15:44).  “Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a clinically and neuropathologically heterogeneous disorder characterized by disturbances in behavior, personality, and language accompanied by focal degeneration of the temporal and or temporal lobes”. 1  That’s a mouth full.  There is a behavioral variant (bv) of FTD.  To say that FTD is is a complex diagnosis is a gross understatement.  The average age of onset is 58 years old but can range from 20 to 80.  Several genetic markers have been identified, and neuroimaging studies demonstrate atrophy of the frontal and/or the temporal lobes of the brain.  It’s primarily a clinical diagnosis with supportive tests to reinforce the diagnosis.  Other co-morbidities associated with FTD may include depression, bipolar disorder or obsessive compulsive disorders, dementia with hallucinatory features – all potential features in the diagnosis.

There are variants of FTD called primary progressive aphasia (PPA) in which there is an “insidious onset and gradual progression of a language impairment (ie, aphasia) manifested by deficits in word finding, word usage, word compression or sentence construction”. 2  And there are variants of PPA.  The above description is superficial relative to the medical complexity of this diagnosis.  So why mention these details?  Because some of the diagnostic questions include:

  • Has the patient said or done anything in public that has embarrassed others
  • Does he appear to lack disgust
  • Does he seem indifferent or oblivious to the feelings of others, less affectionate
  • Changes in sense of humor
  • Has the patient developed new interest or hobbies pursued obsessively, especially with a religious or spiritual bent

Obviously the above questions are used in a medical setting to look for pathology based on certain pre-determined criterion.  However, for the prophetic, none of those behaviors might be considered “abnormal”.  The Word says, “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned”. (1 Co 2:14). 

Thus, language (Yeshua came here to teach us his language of mysteries, 1 Cor 13:1&2) and perception change and bring a different understanding – a revelation – which leads to behavior and relationship changes.  This describes the apostles', the early church's, and my experience in Christ; ie, the new birth.  Thus the exhortation by Yeshua in Matt 5:11&12.  If reviling comes to you inside or outside of a medical office as you reveal Christ, rejoice!  Your experience might be viewed as pathology.  Rejoice!!!  (I have been there!)

Tatian (c. 160) an Ante-Nicene Father, regarding medicine stated, “If anyone is healed by matter, by trusting in it, much more will he be healed by having recourse in the power of God”. 3

Clement of Alexandria (c. 195) an Ante-Nicene Father stated, “a physician is required for those of us who are diseased in body.  Likewise those who are diseased in soul require a mentor to cure their maladies”. 4

New birth vs FTD.  1 Pet 2:9 says that I am “peculiar” and depending on one’s view of "peculiar" one can see pathology or royalty.  Many of the symptoms of FTD (i.e. pathology) can look like the new birth experience, which may bring reviling, persecution, and other troubles according to Yeshua in Matt 5:11&12.  We declare, we are a new and royal creation.  If that brings trouble, Yeshua's command is to rejoice because you are blessed.

Dr. Roni Burton, MD


1.  Frontotemporal dementia: Clinical features and diagnosis.
Authors:  Suzee E Lee. MD, Bruce L Miller, MD
2.  ibid.
3.  A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs
Editor:  David W. Bercot
4.  ibid.