Wrist motor activity was monitored continuously in 65 patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) to assess the influence of disease severity and excessive fatigue on the diurnal motor activity pattern. Mildly or moderately affected PD patients had a similar diurnal pattern to that of 68 healthy controls, with a late morning peak; however, mean levels of motor activity were lower. The most severely affected patients showed an overall flattened diurnal pattern. Results refute the existence of end of day deterioration, but instead suggest a "depressed morning start" in the most severely affected patients with PD. Excessive fatigue was not reported at a particular time of day and did not influence the diurnal motor activity pattern.