Epilepsy is the tendency of specific brain-cells to misfire. There are three distinctions of epilepsy to bear in mind in understanding this problem. The first distinction is that an epileptic episode is either partial or generalised. The second distinction is that an epileptic episode is either simple or complex. The third distinction is that epileptic seizures are either grand mal or petit mal. Confused? â€“ Don’t worry, read on and it will all become clear.