Playing Tetris 'can help stop post-traumatic stress flashbacks'

Playing Tetris can held ward off the symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a new study claims.

Just one session of psychological therapy and time spent playing the classic game can prevent flashbacks, researchers say.

PTSD can happen when someone has experienced a traumatic event where they felt their life, or the life of another person, was in danger.

Playing the classic game for 20 minutes could make all the difference. Credit: Thomas Eisenhuth/DPA/PA Images

The study found that people involved in a car crash had fewer PTSD symptoms if they played a 20-minute Tetris game within six hours of being admitted to hospital.

Researchers also found those who had played Tetris had fewer intrusive memories of the trauma in total over the week immediately following the accident than those who did not.

The study was carried out by researchers at Oxford University and the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden.

Emily Holmes, professor of psychology at Karolinska Institutet's Department of Clinical Neuroscience said: "It would make a huge difference to a great many people if we could create simple behavioural psychological interventions using computer games to prevent post-traumatic suffering and spare them these gruelling intrusive memories.

"This is early days and more research is needed."