January 10, 2009

COME BACK GENERAL PATTON, ALL IS FORGIVEN:

Tetris explored as antidote to war memories: When research subjects played the computer game soon after seeing traumatic images, their memories were less distressing and flashbacks fewer than those who did not have the diversion, a report says. (Melissa Healy, January 10, 2009, LA Times)

Aficionados of the computer-based game Tetris describe the manipulation of its geometric shapes as mind-bending, time-expending and utterly absorbing. But an inoculation against the mental anguish of war memories? Who'd have guessed it?

A study published in the latest issue of the online journal PLoS One found that research subjects who played Tetris in the immediate wake of witnessing a traumatic event were less likely than those who did not play Tetris to experience disturbing, intrusive memories of the horror.

Such distressing flashbacks are a key symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder, a psychiatric diagnosis given to as many as 1 in 5 U.S. service personnel returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Effective treatments for the disorder -- or better yet, preventive measures -- are in high demand.


You mean getting on with things is more effective than navel-gazing? Shocking!

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 10, 2009 9:07 AM
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