Apple TV+’s drama series ‘The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey’ revolves around the life of Ptolemy Grey, who battles dementia while leading an isolated life at the age of 91. When Grey displays a remarkable fight against his conditions physically, his doctor leads him to Dr. Rubin, who is developing a treatment procedure that can possibly cure Grey.
Considering the responsibilities he has in front of him, Grey agrees to take part in Dr. Rubin’s clinical trial to undergo the treatment. While Dr. Rubin’s drug turnaround Grey’s life, one must be wondering whether the treatment is real. Let’s find out, shall we? SPOILERS AHEAD.
What is Dr. Rubin’s Dementia Treatment?
When Grey goes for his routine checkup, the doctor gets surprised to see the physical strength he displays even while suffering from dementia. Realizing that his body can withstand Dr. Rubin’s trial, the doctor leads Grey to the specialist. Robyn, upon discovering the appointment slip, takes Grey to Dr. Rubin, who explains to the former that the treatment procedure includes two shots of a drug that will help Grey completely regain his memory in a week’s time, curing his dementia. Upon taking the first shot, Grey starts to show considerable improvement in remembering and recognizing people.
Grey surprises Robyn by talking about Reggie’s murder and her relationship with Niecie. Grey even starts his investigation to find out the killer of his great-nephew. Along with memory, Dr. Rubin’s first shot gives him composure and clarity to make decisions on his own. Even though Grey regains his memory, he loses it after a period of time, since he hasn’t taken the second dose. While Grey is expected to take a decision regarding the second dose in the upcoming episodes, let’s find out whether the treatment is real or not.
Is Dr. Rubin’s Dementia Treatment Real?
No, Dr. Rubin’s dementia treatment is not real. Clinical research concerning dementia and Alzheimer’s disease is conducted by several governmental and non-governmental establishments all over the world. Like Ptolemy Grey, numerous individuals have taken part in such clinical trials to improve the limit of medical science regarding the condition and disease. However, the treatment procedure Dr. Rubin suggests to Grey is fictional. Walter Mosley, the author of the eponymous source novel of the show, conceived Dr. Rubin’s treatment procedure for the sake of the narrative.
“I came up with [the treatment] – you know, it’s just a notion, of course, it’s a fictional notion that there’s doctors – even though I actually believe it must be true somewhere – that they are doctors doing illegal medical research in Mumbai and studying on people with new medicines they’re coming up with trying to increase these electronic connections [to regain memory],” Mosley said to NPR. Although Mosley acknowledges the possibility of the existence of such a treatment, Dr. Rubin’s treatment procedure was conceived by the author without a known real-life counterpart.
Mosley’s belief can be taken into account since clinical trials and associated treatment practices that exist in real life aren’t always revealed to the world. Still, since there isn’t any known cure to completely recover from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease and clinical research primarily focuses on the reduction of the symptoms of the same, it is safe to assume that Dr. Rubin’s dementia treatment is limited to the novel and the limited series.