Retro game Tetris has been found to help alleviate the effect of post traumatic stress disorder, by stopping the brain from experiencing harmful flashbacks of the event.

The new medical report from the PLoS One Journal, tested 40 volunteers in its study, all of which were shown a range of distressing imagery to begin with. After this, half were left with nothing to do, while the remaining half were allowed to play Tetris.

Results found that the number of flashbacks, a common side effect of PTSD, were significantly less in the Tetris players over the next week.

"We wanted to find a way to dampen down flashbacks – the raw sensory images of trauma that are over-represented in the memories of those with PTSD", said the report’s Dr Emily Holmes.

"Tetris may work by competing for the brain's resources for sensory information. We suggest it specifically interferes with the way sensory memories are laid down in the period after trauma and thus reduces the number of flashbacks that are experienced afterwards".