A behavioural intervention procedure including the computer game Tetris could help people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to alleviate involuntarily recurring visual memories of traumatic experiences. This is the conclusion reached by a team from Ruhr-Universität Bochum together with a researcher from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden following a study of 20 inpatients with PTSD. Following an intervention involving playing Tetris, the number of flashbacks for the stressful events decreased.

A team led by Professor Henrik Kessler and Dr. Aram Kehyayan from the Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy at the LWL University Hospital Bochum reports on the results together with Professor Emily Holmes from the Karolinska Institutet in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, published online in December 2018.

Too few therapy places

One of the most serious symptoms of PTSD is the involuntary recurrence of visual memories of traumatic experiences. “PTSD can be treated well using the therapies available,” says Henrik Kessler, senior physician and trauma therapist. “However, there are many more patients than therapy places. That’s why the researchers are looking for methods outside conventional treatments that can relieve the symptoms.”

Read more at Ruhr-University Bochum