Brothers Angus and Malcolm Young formed the group in 1973 Getty

Malcolm Young, the founding guitarist of the Australian rock band AC/DC, has been confirmed to be suffering from dementia.

In a statement to the Billboard, the family of the ailing lead guitarist confirmed the news: "Malcolm is suffering from dementia and the family thanks you for respecting their privacy."

Young co-founded the popular rock band with his brother and AC/DC frontman Angus Young in Sydney in 1973. AC/DC went on to become one of the highest grossing high voltage bands and sold around 200 million albums until now.

In April this year, the renowned guitarist announced that he was taking a break from the group, sparking speculation about his health.

Last week, with the announcement of the band's latest record Rock or Bust, the group confirmed that the 61-year-old legendary guitar player will not be returning.

"Unfortunately, due to the nature of Malcolm's condition, he will not be returning to the band. AC/DC will undertake a world tour in support of 'Rock or Bust' in 2015," the band said in a statement.

Meanwhile, fans have wished their favourite guitarist good health.