Nursing homes might need more than crosswords and Sudoku to stave off cognitive decline, according to a study published in December’s BMJ.

Researchers said engaging in problem-solving games may not offset cognitive losses stemming from dementia. But participating in these activities throughout life might help boost mental faculties and provide a higher starting point before mental decline.

“This puts the ‘use it or lose it’ conjecture into question,” lead author Roger Staff, Ph.D., of the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, told Reuters.