A new system for long-term monitoring of gait in Parkinson's disease (PD) has been developed and validated. The characteristics of every stride taken over 10-h epochs were acquired using a lightweight ankle-mounted sensor array that transmitted data wirelessly to a small pocket PC at a rate of 100 Hz. Stride was calculated from the vertical linear acceleration and pitch angular velocity of the leg with an accuracy of 5 cm. Results from PD patients (5) demonstrate the effectiveness of long-term monitoring of gait in a natural environment. The small, variable stride length characteristic of Parkinsonian gait, and fluctuations of efficacy associated with levodopa therapy, such as delayed onset, wearing off, and the 'off/on' effect, could reliably be detected from long-term changes in stride length.