Additional tests, which measured the brain's electrical activity, showed a boost in areas responsible for cognitive control, the skill that helps the brain switch back and forth between activities.
The improvements in mental function lasted for about six months after seniors stopped playing, the researchers said.
What remains to be seen, experts said, is whether these improvements will help people in real life.
"They could argue that if you got better at this game then maybe you would be a safer driver when you're elderly," Krakauer said. "You may be able to look for what exit you need to take and stick to the road."
"[But] they haven't tested that," he said. "We don't know the answer to that."
The researchers agreed.
"In order to see improvement in daily life, you need larger numbers of people" who are studied for a longer period of time, Gazzaley said. Planning for those studies is currently in the works.
For more ways to prevent aging, visit the U.S. National Institute on Aging.
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